High CO2 plants bigger and better, according to reports in ScienceDaily 24 August 2016 and Global Change Biology, 2016; doi: 10.1111/gcb.13322.
Experiments involving growing plants in artificially increased levels of carbon dioxide have indicated that plants grow faster with more CO2 in the short term. In order to study the long term effects of higher CO2 levels on plants a group of scientists from University of Southampton, UK and Institute of Biometeorology, Firenze, Italy, have studied plants that have been growing by a natural CO2 spring in Italy. These plants have been growing in a higher CO2 atmosphere for many generations.
The researchers collected seeds of Plantago lanceolata which were growing near the spring and compared the growth rate of plants grown from these with plants grown from seeds collected where the CO2 levels were the normal atmospheric levels. They also compared the genes and gene expression of plants from the two locations and found the genes were the same, but there were differences in gene expression.
Gail Taylor, who led the research described their results: “The study shows that when we take plants from these two places that represent the atmosphere of today with that of the future (out to 2100), and place them together in the same environment, the plants from spring sites were bigger and had a better rate of photosynthesis. Most importantly, plants from the spring sites had differences in the expression of hundreds of genes. In particular, we predict from these gene expression data that planetary greening will continue – it won’t switch off or become acclimated as CO2 continues to rise, but some of the extra carbon in future plants is likely to go into secondary chemicals for plant defence. This is associated with more gene expression underpinning plant respiration”.
Editorial Comment: This study confirms previous studies carried out with artificially raised carbon dioxide levels, including those done by Creation Research that plants growing in higher levels of CO2 grow more quickly and become larger and healthier. See our own experimental results here.
The differences in gene expression indicate that plants are designed to take advantage of a high CO2 atmosphere when they can get it, and turn on the appropriate genes.
Notice also the comment about “planetary greening will continue”. This is a reference to a visible trend that desert areas such as the Sahara, are becoming re-vegetated due to rising CO2 levels.
It is time for environmentalists and politicians to stop obsessing over keeping carbon dioxide levels low, start working on real pollution and things we can control, and time for us all to give thanks to our Creator for plants that use CO2 to green the earth and feed the world.
Evidence News vol. 16, No. 16
14 September 2016
Creation Research Australia
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