Measuring and modelling CO2 effects on sugarcane

Stokes, C.J., Inman-Bamber, N.G., Everingham, Y.L., and Sexton, J. (2016) Measuring and modelling CO2 effects on sugarcane. Environmental Modelling & Software, 78. pp. 68-78.

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In order to fully capture the benefits of rising CO2 in adapting agriculture to climate change, we first need to understand how CO2 affects crop growth. Several recent studies reported unexpected increases in sugarcane (C4) yields under elevated CO2, but it is difficult to distinguish direct leaf-level effects of rising CO2 on photosynthesis from indirect water-related responses. A simulation model of CO2 effects, based purely on changes in stomatal conductance (indirect mechanism), showed transpiration was reduced by 30% (initially) to 10% (closed canopy) and yield increased by 3% even in a well-irrigated crop. The model incorporated the results of a field experiment, and a glasshouse experiment designed to disentangle the mechanisms of CO2 response: whole-plant transpiration and stomatal conductance were both 28% lower for plants growing with high-frequency demand-based watering at 720 vs 390 ppm CO2, but there was no increase in biomass, indicating that indirect mechanisms dominate CO2 responses in sugarcane.

Item ID: 42913
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6726
Keywords: sugarcane; CO2; rranspiration; glasshouse; adaptation
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© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Funders: Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC), Sugar Research Australia (SRA), James Cook University, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of Australia (CSIRO)
Projects and Grants: SRDC Project No. CP1018, SRA Project CP1018
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 01:31
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300210 Sustainable agricultural development @ 50%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300404 Crop and pasture biochemistry and physiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820304 Sugar @ 100%
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