Navigation Links
Deserts 'greening' from rising CO2
Date:7/8/2013

Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have helped boost green foliage across the world's arid regions over the past 30 years through a process called CO2 fertilisation, according to CSIRO research.

In findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue.

"In Australia, our native vegetation is superbly adapted to surviving in arid environments and it consequently uses water very efficiently," Dr Donohue said. "Australian vegetation seems quite sensitive to CO2 fertilisation.

This, along with the vast extents of arid landscapes, means Australia featured prominently in our results."

"While a CO2 effect on foliage response has long been speculated, until now it has been difficult to demonstrate," according to Dr Donohue.

"Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilisation effect by using mathematical modelling together with satellite data adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light, and land-use changes."

The fertilisation effect occurs where elevated CO2 enables a leaf during photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight into sugar, to extract more carbon from the air or lose less water to the air, or both.

If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants in arid environments will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves. These changes in leaf cover can be detected by satellite, particularly in deserts and savannas where the cover is less complete than in wet locations, according to Dr Donohue.

"On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example," Dr Donohue said.

"Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects."


'/>"/>

Contact: Adam Harper
Adam.Harper@csiro.au
61-738-335-605
CSIRO Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UC research takes a new approach to identifying food deserts
2. Scientists confirm existence of vitamin deserts in the ocean
3. Ancient global warming allowed greening of Antarctica
4. In subglacial lake, surprising life goes on
5. New study predicts rising irrigation costs, reduced yields for US corn
6. A surprising new function for small RNAs in evolution
7. Surprising findings on hydrogen production in green algae
8. Scientists find surprising new influence on cancer genes
9. Computer modeling reveals how surprisingly potent hepatitis C drug works
10. New look at cell membrane reveals surprising organization
11. Climate changes effects on temperate rain forests surprisingly complex
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/3/2017)... , Jan. 3, 2017 Onitor, provider ... introduction of Onitor Track, an innovative biometric data-driven program ... showcasing this month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show ... In the U.S., the World Health Organization ... than two-thirds of adults who are overweight or obese. ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... , December 22, 2016 SuperCom ... of secure solutions for the e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and Finance ... of SuperCom, has been selected to implement and deploy a community-based ... Northern California , further expanding its presence in ... This ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... N.C. and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biometric data sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics ... the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today the ... development kit for biometric wearables that includes ST,s ... with Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor system. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2017)... 2017 The Energy and Resources ... for producing mycorrhizae. The Centre for Mycorrhizal Research at ... mycorrhizae and developed a technology that eventually produces mycorrhizae ... ... The TERI facility has a production capacity of ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... ... has enhanced the platform to accommodate increasingly complex and sophisticated deployments, resulting ... and more. In addition to these improvements, the latest release brings enhanced ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... ... January 11, 2017 , ... Photonics industry and ... , are commending the U.S. Congress and President Obama for their recognition of ... of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA). , The language of the ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... to ground-breaking microbiome studies. Its most recent microbiome impact grant award has been ... study the effect of long-term use of oral antibiotics, prescribed for skin conditions, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: