Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Growth Pattern, Carbon Dioxide Exchange and Dry Weight Distribution in Wheat Growing Under Differing Photosynthetic Environments

RM Gifford

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 4(1) 99 - 110
Published: 1977


Wheat (cv. WW15) was grown as a crop stand in different CO2 concentrations (ambient, ambient plus 200 ± 20 vpm CO2, ambient minus 150 ± 20 vpm CO2) from germination to maturity in naturally lit growth cabinets under winter or summer light conditions, at 21°C by day and 16°C at night. Ambient CO2 concentration during the daylight hours averaged 280-300 vpm. CO2 level had little effect on phenology of the mainshoot; most of the growth response was through tillering. From data on flag leaves in the winter light experiment, there was no indication of any positive or negative feedback on growth acting through maximum leaf net photosynthesis rate. Leaf area index was increased by CO2 at low light and the related self-shading acted as a negative feedback partially countering the effect due to an enhanced rate of CO2 uptake per unit leaf area. Dark respiratory CO2 loss represented a greater proportion of CO2 uptake in the light for the CO2-depleted crop than for the control crop. But the reciprocal effect was not evident for the enriched crop. Contrary to classical ideas on growth responses to variation of colimiting factors, the growth response to CO2 enrichment was relatively greater under the low radiation than the high radiation regime. The grain was the tissue most flexible in its responsiveness to changes in assimilation under the conditions of the summer experiment. For this crop, for which the grain yield of the control was very high (0.97 kgm-2), response of yield to CO2 enrichment corresponded to 0.25% per vpm.

© CSIRO 1977

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