Is the quality of plants degraded due to the increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere?

In 50 years, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is expected to reach 450-550 ppm (parts per million) against the current value of 375 ppm. This increase not only leads to the warming of the planet by the greenhouse effect, but it also influences plants.

The Agrarian Ecology Institute of the FAL (Federal Agricultural Research Establishment) in Brunswick (Lower Saxony) is studying these effects in expensive greenhouses combining the growing conditions in open fields, where the CO2 content can be controlled. of the atmosphere. Experiments have been carried out on forage plants and cereals in an atmosphere higher in CO2 (550-650 ppm) and they have shown that at these concentrations, the plants have a reduced nitrogen content and therefore produce less protein. . Not only does the nutritional quality of plants decrease, but the agrarian ecosystem risks being modified with a modification of the
growth, survival and spread of herbivorous insects and parasites. This can also have an effect on litter decomposition and soil mineralization.

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- Teacher. Dr. H.-J. Weigel, Bundesforschungsanstalt fur Landwirtschaft (FAL),
Institut fur Agrarokologie, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig - email:,
Sources: Depeche idw, press release of the Bundesforschungsanstalt fur
Landwirtschaft (FAL), 13 / 04 / 2005
Editor: Sophie Fourmond,

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