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Effects of Elevated CO2 and Ozone on Spring Wheat: A Literature Survey
Bender, J., Herstein, U. and Black, C.R.  1999.  Growth and yield responses of spring wheat to increasing carbon dioxide, ozone and physiological stresses: a statistical analysis of 'ESPACE-wheat' results.  European Journal of Agronomy 10: 185-195.

What was done
The authors analyzed the results of 13 open-top chamber studies, wherein spring wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Minaret) was grown at ambient and twice ambient atmospheric CO2 concentrations in combination with ambient and elevated ozone concentrations to determine the effects of these variables on aboveground biomass and yield production in this important agricultural crop.

What was learned
Elevated ozone had little effect on growth and yield, suggesting that either the O3 concentrations employed in the studies were not high enough to elicit a negative response in this specific cultivar or that the cultivar was highly tolerant of high O3 concentrations.  Thus, elevated CO2 was the primary variable that influenced growth and yield; and it proved very effective in this regard, increasing aboveground biomass by an average of 37% (range 11 to 128%) and grain yield by 35% (range11 to 121%).

What it means
As the atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, it is likely that this particular spring wheat cultivar will display significant increases in biomass production and grain yield, even if tropospheric ozone concentrations continue to increase.  The review also shows the importance of planting ozone-tolerant cultivars to maximize CO2-induced growth benefits in this and, by inference, other species as well.

Reviewed 19 June 2002