How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Effects of Elevated CO2 on Salt Tolerance in Tomato
Maggio, A., Dalton, F.N. and Piccinni, G.  2002.  The effects of elevated carbon dioxide on static and dynamic indices for tomato salt tolerance.  European Journal of Agronomy 16: 197-206.

What was done
The authors grew tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) in environmental chambers receiving atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 400 and 900 ppm in combination with varying degrees of soil salinity for one month to determine the effects of elevated CO2 on salt tolerance in this important agricultural crop.

What was learned
Plants grown in elevated CO2 tolerated an average root-zone salinity threshold value that was about 60% greater than that exhibited by ambiently-grown plants (51 vs. 32 mmol dm-3 Cl).  In addition, the water-use of CO2-enriched plants was about half that exhibited by ambiently-grown plants.  Moreover, the amount of chloride in the leaves of CO2-enriched plants was significantly lower than that in the leaves of ambiently-grown plants, supporting the supposition that water and salt uptake are linked.

What it means
As the air's CO2 concentration increases, tomato plants will likely fare better than they presently do on older agricultural soils that may have inherently high soil salinities, due to CO2-induced increases in root-zone salt tolerance and reductions in salt uptake.  Thus, there should less yield reductions in this valuable agricultural crop resulting from salinity-induced stresses in the future.

Reviewed 22 May 2002