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Abstract Atmospheric CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) was as low as 18 Pa during the Pleistocene and is projected to
 

Summary: Abstract Atmospheric CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) was
as low as 18 Pa during the Pleistocene and is projected to
increase from 36 to 70 Pa CO2 before the end of the 21st
century. High pCO2 often increases the growth and repro-
duction of C3 annuals, whereas low pCO2 decreases
growth and may reduce or prevent reproduction. Previous
predictions regarding the effects of high and low pCO2 on
C3 plants have rarely considered the effects of evolution.
Knowledge of the potential for evolution of C3 plants in
response to CO2 is important for predicting the degree to
which plants may sequester atmospheric CO2 in the fu-
ture, and for understanding how plants may have func-
tioned in response to low pCO2 during the Pleistocene.
Therefore, three studies using Arabidopsis thaliana as a
model system for C3 annuals were conducted: (1) a selec-
tion experiment to measure responses to selection for high
seed number (a major component of fitness) at Pleistocene
(20 Pa) and future (70 Pa) pCO2 and to determine changes
in development rate and biomass production during selec-
tion, (2) a growth experiment to determine if the effects of

  

Source: Antonovics, Janis - Department of Biology, University of Virginia
Thomas, Richard B. - Department of Biology, West Virginia University
Ward, Joy - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology