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A glasshouse experiment was conducted with plants of Phaseolus grown in liquid culture. Root growth parameters (biomass, diameter, length, growth rate, zone of cell division), root rheological components (wall extensibility, water potential yield threshold, water potential), shoot growth, carbon allocation, and abscisic acid (ABA) concentration were measured in Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray at ambient (550 μmol mol−1) and elevated (700 μmol mol−1) atmospheric CO2 concentrations. For contrast, measurements of above‐ and belowground growth were conducted on Phaseolus vulgaris L. in the same treatments. Under nonlimiting conditions of water and nutrients, elevated CO2 increased root and shoot growth of P. acutifolius but not P. vulgaris. While root mass was increased by nearly 60% in P. acutifolius, there was no effect of atmospheric CO2 on any of the rheological components measured. In contrast, starch and ABA accumulated in roots of P. acutifolius. The concentration of starch in roots of P. acutifolius increased by 10‐fold, while root concentrations of ABA doubled. From the data it is concluded that CO2 enrichment is favorable for root growth in some species in that more carbon is allocated to belowground growth. In addition, ABA may play a role in growth responses and/or allocation of photosynthates at elevated CO2 in P. acutifolius.


Abscisic acid (ABA); Carbohydrate allocation; Ecophysiology; Elevated CO2; Phaseolus acutifolius; Phaseolus vulgaris; Roots; Species-specific response


Plant Biology


© 1999 by University of Chicago Press

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