Impact of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration on growth characteristics and yield in maize and rice

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X. J. Xie
R.Y. Li
L.D. Huang
Y.X. Bao


Open top chambers (OTCs), growth characteristics, grain yield, Zea mays L, Oryza sativa L


To assess the effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) on growth and yield in maize and rice, an experiment was carried out in open top chambers (OTCs) at different atmospheric CO2 concentration treatments (550 μmol/mol, T1; 750 μmol/mol, T2 and a control, CK) in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Our results indicated that the plant height, leaf area index (LAI), Soil and Plant Analyzer Development (SPAD) and net photosynthesis (NPn) of the maize (Zhengdan 958) and rice (Huaidao 5) at three development stages under the increasing [CO2] followed the order of CK <T1<T2. The growth indexes of two crop cultivars showed no significant differences nor did they show significant differences at certain development stages among the three CO2 treatments. The growth durations of maize and rice were delayed due to the elevated [CO2] treatments individually, but the impact before jointing was slightly greater than that after jointing. The above-ground biomass in maize was increased by 6.70–10.10%, and the above-ground biomass in rice was increased by 8.98–13.74% (P < 0.05) under the elevated [CO2] treatments. Maize yields were increased by 5.26% and 11.45%, and rice yields were increased by 19.76% and 24.43% under the T1 and T2 treatments. Other yield components of two crop cultivars were enhanced accordingly under high [CO2] treatments. The kernels per spike and crop yield showed significant differences between two high [CO2] plots and CK (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences for other yield components (P > 0.05).

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