Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 2269–2277

The effects of elevated atmospheric [CO2] on Norway spruce needle parameters

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11738-011-0766-0

Cite this article as:
Pokorny, R., Tomaskova, I. & Marek, M.V. Acta Physiol Plant (2011) 33: 2269. doi:10.1007/s11738-011-0766-0


Studies of selected morphological needle parameters were carried out on young (17–19 year old) Norway spruce trees cultivated inside glass domes at ambient (A, 370 μmol (CO2) mol−1) and elevated (E, 700 μmol (CO2) mol−1) atmospheric CO2 concentrations [CO2] beginning in 1997. Annual analyses performed from 2002 to 2004 revealed higher values for needle length (especially for current needles, up to 18%) and projected needle area (up to 13%) accompanied by lower values for specific needle area (up to 15% lower, as quantified by needle mass to projected area ratio) in the E treatment compared to the A treatment. Statistically significant differences for most of the investigated morphological parameters were found in young needles in the well irradiated sun-adapted crown parts, particularly under water-limiting soil conditions in 2003. This was likely a result of different water relations in E compared to A trees as investigated under temperate water stress (Kuper et al. in Biol Plantarum 50:603–609, 2006). Furthermore, E trees had much higher absorbing root area, which modified and enhanced root:shoot as well as root:conductive stem area proportions. These hydraulic properties and early seasonal stimulation of photosynthesis forced advanced needle development in E trees, particularly under limited soil water conditions. The number of needles per unit shoot length was found to be unaffected by elevated [CO2].


Carbon dioxideMorphologyLong-term experimentPicea abies



Ambient CO2 concentration (370 μmol (CO2) mol−1)


CO2 concentration


Elevated CO2 concentration (700 μmol (CO2) mol−1)


Needle length


Needle area (projected)


Number of needles


Non-structural carbohydrates


Specific needle area


Needle shape factor

Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Change Research CentreAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry and Wood TechnologyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood TechnologyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic