, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 415-427

The influences of increased CO2 and water supply on growth, biomass allocation and water use efficiency of Sinapis alba L. grown under different wind speeds

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We examined how independent and interactive effects of CO2 concentrations, water supply and wind speed affect growth rates, biomass partitioning, water use efficiency, diffusive conductance and stomatal density of plants. To test the prediction that wind stress will be ameliorated by increased CO2 and/or by unrestricted water supply we grew Sinapis alba L. plants in controlled chambers under combinations of two levels of CO2 (350 ppmv, 700 ppmv), two water regimes and two wind speeds (0.3 ms−1, 3.7 ms−1). We harvested at ten different dates over a period of 60 days. A growth analysis was carried out to evaluate treatment effects on plant responses. Plants grown both in increased CO2 and in low wind conditions had significantly greater stem length, leaf area and dry weights of plant parts. Water supply significantly affected stem diameter, root weight and leaf area. CO2 enrichment significantly increased the rate of biomass accumulation and the relative ratio of biomass increase to leaf area expansion. High wind speed significantly reduced plant growth rates and the rate of leaf area expansion was reduced more than the rate of biomass accumulation. Regression analysis showed significant CO2 effects on the proportion of leaf and stem dry weight to total dry weight. A marked plant-age effect was dependent on water supply, wind speed and CO2 concentration. A reduced water supply significantly decreased the stomatal conductance, and water use efficiency significantly increased with a limited water supply, low wind and increased CO2. We found significant CO2 x wind effects for water diffusion resistance, adaxial number of stomata and water use efficiencies and significant wind x water effect for water use efficiency. In conclusion, wind stress was ameliorated by growing in unrestricted water but not by growing in increased CO2.