Hew, C.S., Hin, S.E., Yong, J.W.H., Gouk, S.S. and Tanaka, M. 1995. In vitro CO2 enrichment of CAM orchid plantlets. Journal of Horticultural Science 70: 721-736.
What was done
The authors grew an orchid plantlet, Mokara White, in plastic bags flushed with 300, 10,000 and 100,000 ppm CO2 for three months, in order to study the effects of super-elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations on this epiphytic CAM species.
What was learned
Plantlets grown at 10,000 ppm CO2 achieved total dry weights that were 28 and 37% greater than those achieved by control plants grown in ambient air with and without supplemental sucrose additions, respectively. In addition, plantlets grown at 10,000 ppm with high light exposure exhibited modestly higher growth rates and biomass production than similar plantlets grown with high light at 100,000 ppm CO2.
What it means
As the air's CO2 content rises, this particular CAM plant will likely exhibit significant increases in photosynthesis and biomass production. Under controlled propagation conditions, commercial growers could also maximize plant productivity and growth by exposing such plants to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 and supplemental lighting.
Reviewed 25 September 2002