Journal article

Elevated atmospheric [CO2] can dramatically increase wheat yields in semi-arid environments and buffer against heat waves

Glenn J Fitzgerald, Michael Tausz, Garry O'Leary, Mahabubur R Mollah, Sabine Tausz-Posch, Saman Seneweera, Ivan Mock, Markus Low, Debra L Partington, David McNeil, Robert M Norton



Wheat production will be impacted by increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2 [CO2 ], which is expected to rise from about 400 μmol mol(-1) in 2015 to 550 μmol mol(-1) by 2050. Changes to plant physiology and crop responses from elevated [CO2 ] (e[CO2 ]) are well documented for some environments, but field-level responses in dryland Mediterranean environments with terminal drought and heat waves are scarce. The Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment facility was established to compare wheat (Triticum aestivum) growth and yield under ambient (~370 μmol(-1) in 2007) and e[CO2 ] (550 μmol(-1) ) in semi-arid environments. Experiments were undertaken at two dryland sites (Horsham and Walpeu..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Research within the AGFACE facility was supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture in a joint collaboration between the Victoria State Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and the University of Melbourne (UM). We wish to acknowledge the crucial contributions of Russel Argall (DEDJTR), Peter Howie (UM), Janine Fitzpatrick (DEDJTR), and Justine Ellis (DEDJTR) in running and maintaining the AGFACE facility, collecting key measurements and for sample processing.