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CO2-induced changes in wheat grain composition: Meta-analysis and response functions

Journal article
Authors Malin Broberg
Petra Högy
Håkan Pleijel
Published in Agronomy
Volume 7
Issue 2
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.3390/agronomy7020032
Keywords Baking properties, Carbon dioxide, Crop quality, Food security, Minerals, Protein, Starch, Triticum aestivum
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences

Abstract

Elevated carbon dioxide (eCO2) stimulates wheat grain yield, but simultaneously reduces protein/nitrogen (N) concentration. Also, other essential nutrients are subject to change. This study is a synthesis of wheat experiments with eCO2, estimating the effects on N, minerals (B, Ca, Cd, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Zn), and starch. The analysis was performed by (i) deriving response functions to assess the gradual change in element concentration with increasing CO2 concentration, (ii) meta-analysis to test the average magnitude and significance of observed effects, and (iii) relating CO2 effects on minerals to effects on N and grain yield. Responses ranged from zero to strong negative effects of eCO2 on mineral concentration, with the largest reductions for the nutritionally important elements of N, Fe, S, Zn, and Mg. Together with the positive but small and non-significant effect on starch concentration, the large variation in effects suggests that CO2-induced responses cannot be explained only by a simple dilution model. To explain the observed pattern, uptake and transport mechanisms may have to be considered, along with the link of different elements to N uptake. Our study shows that eCO2 has a significant effect on wheat grain stoichiometry, with implications for human nutrition in a world of rising CO2.

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