"We need to clarify the effects that warming will have on the reproductive phase to detect the possible impacts increased temperatures will have on flowering, pollination, fruit development and other developmental processes of these plants," she said.
In another experiment, the researchers cultivated the forage plant Panicum maximum at a temperature 2C above normal, at a carbon concentration of 600 parts per million (ppm), equivalent to twice the amount there is today, an amount that is expected to be reached by 2050, according to projections from the IPCC.
The researchers found that there was less partitioning of biomass to the leaves relative to the stem of plants cultivated under these conditions.
Similar results were obtained by researchers at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (Cena) at the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (Esalq) of USP, Piracicaba campus in an experiment conducted using Brachiaria decumbens, a common grass found on coffee plantations and the major forage plant in Brazil, commonly known as signal grass.
By cultivating the plant in an environment with 200 ppm carbon above current levels in a FACE system set up at the Embrapa Environmental Division in Jaguarina, in inland So Paulo State, the researchers observed an increase in the production of stems and a decrease in biomass in the leaves of the plant.
"This could have a series of implications for the use of this plant as a forage plant found in over 80 million hectares of Brazilian pastureland," said Raquel Ghini, researcher at the Embrapa Environmental Division and one of the study's authors.
According to the assessment by Martinez, the potential impact of global climate change on plants used as pastureland needs to be investigated because plants represent the main food source for cattle in countries such as Brazil one of the only countries in the world tha
|Contact: Samuel Antenor|
Fundao de Amparo Pesquisa do Estado de So Paulo