Related to but distinct from this question due to the concentrations involved.

While small carbon dioxide concentration increases can positively impact plant growth under some circumstances and at the same time negatively affect it under other circumstances, these changes are relatively small (doubling CO2 from 0.04% to 0.08%).

Is there any research on plants grown at extremely high (>1%) carbon dioxide concentrations in the air, assuming Earth atomspheric pressure? For the purpose of this question, assume that the plants are supplied with pH modifiers such as limestone in the soil to prevent soil acidification.


1 Answer 1


Yes they can, but their normal growth is somewhat impaired. A study by Bugbee and collaborators showed that while the yield of rice and wheat increases with CO2 up to about 0.1% CO2, yield decreases sharply as CO2 climbs from 0.1% to 0.25%. There is a smaller loss in yield as CO2 is further increased from 0.25% to 2%.

One interesting thing to note about the study is that the above results turn somewhat on how "yield" is defined. Bugbee defines yield in terms of the mass of the parts of the plant that people can actually eat. They make a note in the study that the vegetative growth of the plants (the green leafy parts humans can't eat) was not affected by the jump from optimal to super-optimal CO2 levels.


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