Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide benefits cotton growth and yield
May 13, 2014

Agronomy & physiology Production Extension
Climate change is real and will affect cotton growth and yield. Climate change is occurring because of increased greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, in the atmosphere causing global warming and related changes in various weather phenomena. Increasing CO2 levels should be beneficial to plant growth and yield because increasing ambient CO2 would enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. This is because photosynthesis in cotton responds to increasing CO2,such that increasing CO2 levels above the current ambient level would result in higher amounts of CO2 fixed, and therefore increased carbohydrate production and enhanced plant growth. It has been estimated that the photosynthetic rate of agricultural crops such as cotton would increase by 33% with a doubling of the CO2 concentrationIn addition to enhancing canopy photosynthesis, CO2 is also a competitive inhibitor of photorespiration, and both of these factors result in increased growth and productivity.  However, other factors come into play with climate such as increased temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and changed season length that could negatively impact the advantages of increased CO2 levels
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