It seems that the capacity of plants to counteract the greenhouse effect has been overestimated. On the contrary, research suggests that changes in atmospheric conditions have a more detrimental effect on plants than previously thought. Research at McGill University shows that increasing CO2 levels decrease algae growth. Conducted 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 CO2 levels.
According to Bell, this finding applies to other plant species. This rebuts the presumption that plants can use excess CO2 from the environment. By the next century we are likely to see dramatic changes in all plants (including agricultural species) as the use of oil increases and generates higher and higher CO2 levels.
- 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