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A. Gagnon, S. Yelle, and A. Gosselin

The objective of this experiment was to examine the influence of continuous and intermittent carbon dioxide enrichment on the growth of greenhouse tomato plants. Tomato plants were grown under four CO2 regimes: Control at 330 ppm, continuous supply at 1000 ppm, and intermittent supply (1h supply/2 hours) at 1000 ppm and 2000 ppm. Carbon enrichment produced an increase in photosynthetic rate and plant dry weight, a decrease in leaf nitrate level, and leaf accumulation of reducing sugars and starch. A loss in efficiency was observed over time in plants grown under high atmospheric C02 concentration. However, intermittent carbon enrichment reduced the plant acclimation. Even with 32% less C02, intermittent enrichment at 1000 ppm produced yields 6% greater than continuous enrichment. The superior yield may be explained by preferential allocation of photosynthates to the fruit under intermittent supply.