It appears that the ability of plants to offset the greenhouse effect has been overestimated. On the contrary, research suggests that changes in atmospheric conditions have a more harmful effect on plants than hitherto believed. Research at McGill University shows that an increasing rate of CO2 decreases algae growth. Led by biologist Graham Bell, the research is based on the response of algae to high concentrations of carbon dioxide. The results show that algae may not adapt to conditions of high levels of CO2.
According to Bell, this find applies to other plant species. This refutes the presumption that plants can use the surplus of CO2 from the environment. By the next century, we are likely to see significant changes in all plants (including agricultural species) as oil use increases and CO2 levels become higher and higher.
- Sinead Collins, University Relations Office (URO) - McGill University - Tel: + 1 514 398 6459
- Christine Zeindler, Communications Officer - University Relations Office - tel: + 1 514 398 6754