Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on seed production in C3 annual plants

Kouki Hikosaka, Toshihiko Kinugasa, Shimpei Oikawa, Yusuke Onoda, Tadaki Hirose

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    The response of seed production to CO2 concentration ([CO 2]) is known to vary considerably among C3 annual species. Here we analyse the interspecific variation in CO2 responses of seed production per plant with particular attention to nitrogen use. Provided that seed production is limited by nitrogen availability, an increase in seed mass per plant results from increase in seed nitrogen per plant and/or from decrease in seed nitrogen concentration ([N]). Meta-analysis reveals that the increase in seed mass per plant under elevated [CO2] is mainly due to increase in seed nitrogen per plant rather than seed [N] dilution. Nitrogen-fixing legumes enhanced nitrogen acquisition more than non-nitrogen-fixers, resulting in a large increase in seed mass per plant. In Poaceae, an increase in seed mass per plant was also caused by a decrease in seed [N]. Greater carbon allocation to albumen (endosperm and/or perisperm) than the embryo may account for [N] reduction in grass seeds. These differences in CO2 response of seed production among functional groups may affect their fitness, leading to changes in species composition in the future high-[CO2] ecosystem.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1523-1530
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of experimental botany
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb


    • Carbon dioxide
    • functional groups
    • meta-analysis
    • nitrogen use
    • reproduction
    • seed nitrogen concentration
    • seed quality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Plant Science


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