Ecophysiological responses of desert plants to elevated CO2: Environmental determinants and case studies

Document Type



Anthropogenic activities have significantly affected the composition of Earth's atmosphere through increasing carbon dioxide and other trace gas concentrations (Vitousek et al. 1997). Except for human land use, no global change factor has been more rapid and substantial than the increase in atmospheric CO2 partial pressure ([CO2]). From the beginning of the industrial age until today, [CO2] has risen from approximately 28 to 38 Pa, a 30% rise in the last 150 years. This rise is continuing, with a doubling from pre-industrial [CO2] projected by 2050, and a doubling of current-day [CO2] by the end of this century. Increased [CO2] is one of the primary factors forcing greater global atmospheric temperatures (Karl and Trenberth 2003), and is expected to further alter Earth's climate systems in the coming decades (Schneider 1992).


Carbon dioxide; Climate changes; Global warming; Greenhouse gases


Desert Ecology


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