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Not Just CO2, Rising Temperature and Climate Change Can Also Affect Photosynthesis in Plants

Representative photo

Representative photo

Researchers are saying that high temperatures affect plant growth even with availability of CO2, which is the key component of photosynthesis.

A recent study by a team of agricultural scientists’ states that rising temperature is an additional cause to affect climatic conditions and eventually crop yield. Caitlin Moore, Carl Bernacchi, Katherine Meacham-Hensold and their colleagues submitted a paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany, which highlights the impacts of rising temperature on crops. Their main focus is on how to reduce the impact of rising heat on the crop for better plant growth. Researchers are saying that high temperatures affect plant growth even with availability of CO2, which is the key component of photosynthesis. Enzymes that run photosynthesis can be hindered in regulating carbon dioxide and water loss due to elevated temperatures.

Increasing heat levels associated with climatic shifts tend to affect crops and plants by hampering their ability to sustain structure, water retention, CO2 absorption and reproduction.

Caitlin Moore, a research fellow at the University of Western Australia, mentions that this issue needs a clear understanding. The research states how plant leaves open pores due to the rising temperature level. It eventually affects the stomata and plant transport systems. Increasing levels of heat can even diminish a crop’s reproductive system. Enzymes that are heat-sensitive are important for the crop to move sugars across different plant tissues. This process enables the plant to grow and increases a plant’s productivity.

One of the researchers on the topic highlights her concern on global scale. She said that the world is getting hotter at a shocking rate which is causing crop loss at large and this issue can’t be ignored. “Each increase in gross temperature degree Celsius can cause 3% to 7% losses in yield of our four main crops. So, it’s not something we can ignore,” said the researcher.

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Improving Rubisco efficiency; altering light-gathering properties, and controlling the density of stomata for better CO2 influx are strategies that are being applied by researchers to eradicate the main problem of crop photosynthesis.

first published:March 17, 2021, 18:30 IST