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Aquatic Plant Growth Response to Very High Co2 Concentrations

October 20th, 2006 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-CO2-Capture, Seaweed

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Aquatic Plant Growth Response to Very High CO2 Concentrations

This is an article from CO2 Science


Plants grown in elevated atmospheric CO2 environments typically exhibit increased rates of photosynthesis and biomass production. Most of the studies that have established this fact have historically utilized CO2 concentration increases on the order of 300-400 ppm, which represents an approximate doubling of the air’s current CO2 concentration; and they have been conducted on terrestrial plants. So what happens to aquatic plants if the air’s CO2 concentration is super-enriched, to a value one to two (or even three) orders of magnitude more than it is currently? Are the consequences of the massive elevation of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration positive? Or are they negative? In what follows, we attempt to answer these questions by summarizing what we know about the subject via a brief review of pertinent scientific literature we have previously discussed on our website.

Kubler et al. (1999) grew a red seaweed common to the Northeast Atlantic intertidal zone, Lomentaria articulata, for three weeks in hydroponic cultures subjected to various atmospheric CO2 and O2 concentrations to determine the effects of these gases on growth. In doing so, they found that oxygen concentrations ranging from 10 to 200% of ambient had no significant effects on daily net carbon gain or total wet biomass production rates in this particular seaweed. In contrast, CO2 concentrations ranging from 67 to 500% of ambient had highly significant effects on these parameters. At twice the current ambient CO2 concentration, for example, daily net carbon gain and total wet biomass production rates were 52 and 314% greater than they were under ambient CO2 conditions. Likewise, Tisserat (2001) grew water mint (Mentha aquatica) plants for four weeks at ambient and enriched atmospheric CO2 conditions, finding that compared to plants exposed to air of 350 ppm CO2, those grown in air of 3,000 ppm CO2 produced 220% more fresh weight.

Full summary can be seen here

I thought some of the references mentioned in the article could be of use to you. So here is that list:


Andersen, T. and Andersen, F.O. 2006. Effects of CO2 concentration on growth of filamentous algae and Littorella uniflora in a Danish softwater lake. Aquatic Botany 84: 267-271.

Andersen, T., Andersen, F.O. and Pedersen, O. 2006. Increased CO2 in the water around Littorella uniflora raises the sediment O2 concentration. Aquatic Botany 84: 294-300.

Hanagata, N., Takeuchi, T. and Fukuju, Y. 1992. Tolerance of microalgae to high CO2 and high temperature. Phytochemistry 31: 3345-3348.

Kodama, M., Ikemoto, H. and Miyachi, S. 1993. A new species of highly CO2-tolerant fast growing marine microalga suitable for high density culture. Journal of Marine Biotechnology 1: 21-25.

Kubler, J.E., Johnston, A.M. and Raven, J.A. 1999. The effects of reduced and elevated CO2 and O2 on the seaweed Lomentaria articulata. Plant, Cell and Environment 22: 1303-1310.

Logothetis, K., Dakanali, S., Ioannidis, N. and Kotzabasis, K. 2004. The impact of high CO2 concentrations on the structure and function of the photosynthetic apparatus and the role of polyamines. Journal of Plant Physiology 161: 715-724.

Muller, C., Reuter, W. and Wehrmeyer, W. 1993. Adaptation of the photosynthetic apparatus of Anacystis nidulans to irradiance and CO2-concentration. Botanica Acta 106: 480-487.

Tisserat, B. 2001. Influence of ultra-high carbon dioxide concentrations on growth and morphogenesis of Lamiaceae species in soil. Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants 9: 81-89.

Watanabe, Y., Ohmura, N. and Saiki, H. 1992. Isolation and determination of cultural characteristics of microalgae which functions under CO2 enriched atmosphere. Energy Conversion and Management 33: 545-552.

Yue, L. and Chen, W. 2005. Isolation and determination of cultural characteristics of a new highly CO2 tolerant fresh water microalgae. Energy Conversion and Management 46: 1868-1876.

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