Interactive Effects of Light and CO2 on Photosynthesis and Growth of Brassica spp.

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  • 1 Dept. of Fruit and Vegetable Science, Cornell Univ., 134-A Plant Science Bldg., Ithaca, NY 14850-5908

Long- and short-term physiological responses of pak choi (Chinese cabbage, Brassica campestris cv. `Hypro') to elevated CO2 and light environments were evaluated in the series of growth chamber experiments. Plants were grown hydroponically (Nutrient Film Technique) at 25/18°C (day/night) temperature, a 16-h photoperiod, and at three CO2 levels (350, 700, 1400 ppm) and two light levels (200 and 400 μmol·m–2·s–1 PPFD). Relative to 350-ppm CO2 treatment, the final total plant dry mass in low light increased by 37% and 38% at 700 and 1400 ppm CO2, respectively. In high light the increase was 7% and 13% at 700 and 1400 ppm CO2, respectively. Light response curves showed a positive CO2 effect on light compensation point, a slight increase in quantum yield and increase in maximum Pn rates at elevated CO2. Carbon dioxide response curves (measured at saturating PPFD of 1600 μmol·m–2·s–1) showed no effect of growth light treatment on the CO2 compensation point, but a 20% to 30% higher maximum Pn rate at saturating CO2 in plants grown at the higher light level. Overall, the highest Pn rates and the highest plant dry mass at final harvest were found in plants grown at the 400 μmol·m–2·s–1 PPFD and 1400 ppm CO2. Relative beneficial CO2 effects, however, were the most pronounced in low light conditions.

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