Short-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2 benefits the growth of a facultative annual root hemi-parasite, Rhinanthus minor (L.) more than that of its host, Poa pratensis (L.)

J K Hwangbo, W E Seel, S J Woodin

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Abstract

The effects of elevated CO2 (650 ppm) on interactions between a chlorophyllous parasitic angiosperm, Rhinanthus minor (L.) and a host, Poa pratensis (L.) were investigated. R. minor benefited from elevate CO2, with both photosynthesis and biomass increasing, and transpiration and tissue N concentration remaining unaffected. However, this did not alleviate the negative effect of the parasite on the host; R. minor reduced host photosynthesis, transpiration, leaf area and biomass, irrespective of CO2 concentration. Elevated CO2 resulted in increased host photosynthesis, but there was no concomitant increase in biomass and foliar N decreased. It appears that the parasite may reduce host growth more by competition for nitrogen than for carbon. Contrary to expectation, R. minor did not reduce the productivity of the host-parasite association, and it actually contributed to the stimulation of productivity of the association by elevated CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1951-1955
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume54
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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Keywords

  • elevated CO2
  • nitrogen
  • parasitic angiosperm
  • photosynthesis
  • Poa pratensis
  • Rhinanthus minor
  • STRIGA-HERMONTHICA
  • PARASITIC PLANT
  • GAS-EXCHANGE
  • USE-EFFICIENCY
  • IMPACT
  • PHOTOSYNTHESIS
  • BIOCHEMISTRY
  • PHYSIOLOGY
  • SATIVA
  • FIELD

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