Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 1, pp 205-214

First online:

The impact of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide on yield, proximate composition, elemental concentration, fatty acid and vitamin C contents of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)

  • Ikhtiar KhanAffiliated withInstitute of Chemical Sciences, University of Peshawar
  • , Andaleeb AzamAffiliated withInstitute of Chemical Sciences, University of Peshawar Email author 
  • , Abid MahmoodAffiliated withBarani Agriculture Research Institution (BARI)Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI)

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The global average temperature has witnessed a steady increase during the second half of the twentieth century and the trend is continuing. Carbon dioxide, a major green house gas is piling up in the atmosphere and besides causing global warming, is expected to alter the physico-chemical composition of plants. The objective of this work was to evaluate the hypothesis that increased CO2 in the air is causing undesirable changes in the nutritional composition of tomato fruits. Two varieties of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) were grown in ambient (400 μmol mol−1) and elevated (1,000 μmol mol−1) concentration of CO2 under controlled conditions. The fruits were harvested at premature and fully matured stages and analyzed for yield, proximate composition, elemental concentration, fatty acid, and vitamin C contents. The amount of carbohydrates increased significantly under the enhanced CO2 conditions. The amount of crude protein and vitamin C, two important nutritional parameters, decreased substantially. Fatty acid content showed a mild decrease with a slight increase in crude fiber. Understandably, the effect of enhanced atmospheric CO2 was more pronounced at the fully matured stage. Mineral contents of the fruit samples changed in an irregular fashion. Tomato fruit has been traditionally a source of vitamin C, under the experimental conditions, a negative impact of enhanced CO2 on this source of vitamin C was observed. The nutritional quality of both varieties of tomato has altered under the CO2 enriched atmosphere.


Atmospheric carbon dioxide Tomato Nutritional values Chemical analysis