J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1996, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

Responses to Doubled CO2 in Medicago sativa: Studies on Ecophysiology and Simulation Modelling

Xiang Bin, Lin Shun-hua and Gao Lei-ming   

Abstract: A world-wide spread forage grass, Medicago sativa, was grown in two open-top chambers maintained at either normal (350 μmol · mol-1) or doubled (700 μmol · mol-1) CO2 concentration, from seedling to maturity. During the whole growth season, ecophysiological measurements and observations were conducted over different phenological stages and the main results were as follows: (1) With similar environmental factors, in terms of RH (relative humidity), irradiance, and watering, a slight shift in temperature (about 0.77℃, averaged over the whole growth season) within the chamber maintained at doubled CO2 did not affect instantaneous physiological processes at leaf level, but had some impacts on the effect of doubled CO2 over a long period. (2) Over the whole growth season, physiological variables showed differences between two chambers. The net photosynthesis of plant grown under higher CO2 increased by 18.7 %, while stomatal conductance fell slightly as compared with that of the control. So was the water use efficiency which was also 30.1% higher than the control. Based on the above results from field studies, we concluded that photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and RH were the main factors affecting photosynthesis and stomatal behavior. Then we combined a widely accepted model of C3 leaf photosynthesis with an empirical model of stomatal conductance and made some modifications according to our experiments. This model was parameterized using field data sets of net CO2 assimilation, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration of plants grown at both doubled and control CO2 levels. Variances of main parameters between two treatments reflected some biochemical changes in leaf cell. The maximum efficiency of light energy conversion (α) increased by 22 % and light-saturated rate of electron transport (Jmax) rose by 15 %. The maximum stomatal conductance was slightly reduced by 8 %. The increases in parameters (α and Jmax) indicate accelerated biochemical processes in leaf cell, which means that the photosynthetic capacity of M. sativa may increase at elevated CO2. These results agree well with biochemical measurements at cell level.

Key words: Medicago sativa, Doubled CO2, Ecophysiological effect: Apparent photosynthesis: Water use efficiency (WUE), Ecophysiological modeling

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