Effects of elevated C02 concentration on the development and yield components of cereals

N. Harnos, O. Veisz, T. Tischner

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Fourteen cereal varieties (eight winter wheat varieties bred and grown in the major wheat growing zones of the world, together with one variety each of triticale, rye, barley, winter durum wheat, and winter and spring oats) were grown in two phytotron units at 375 and 750 μmol- mol-1 -1 (ppm) C02 concentration to evaluate the effects of elevated C02 concentration on development and yield components, and to compare the responses of different cereal varieties. In the sixth week of the experiment the number of shoots, leaf area and canopy dry weight were measured and average increases of 75%, 75% and 50%, respectively, were observed for crops grown at 750 μmol- mol-1 C02 compared with those grown at normal CO2 concentration. The extent of these differences varied, however, from one species to the other, ranging from 12-150%, 38-188% and 0.5-57%, respectively. The most sensitive was the winter wheat cultivar Libellula, while the triticale (cv. Presto) showed the smallest sensitivity to elevated CO2 concentration during the first six weeks of the experiment. The increase in grain yield was connected very closely with an increase in ear number/plant and grain number/plant. With the exception of three varieties (two winter wheat varieties, cvs. Fredrick and Bezostaya 1, and the winter durum wheat, cv. Hordeiforme 1443) the grain yield was greater when plants were grown at 750 umol- mol-1 C02 concentration. It was observed that the triticale, with the smallest responses to elevated C02 at the sixth week, showed the highest increase in grain yield (40%). The elevation of C02 concentration had no effect on the average thousand grain mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalActa Agronomica Hungarica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1998



  • CO concentration
  • Cereals
  • Global climate changes
  • Plant development
  • Yield components

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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