Are plants taking it upon themselves to offset some of the effects of climate change? It sure looks like it, thanks to a just-completed project carried out by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography here in San Diego.
In this issue, we’ll share their findings.
According to the study, which was just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, plants have made tremendous progress over the past 40 years at becoming more efficient with making photosynthesis – the process that converts carbon dioxide and water into food.
One of the study’s authors says that plants are actually changing the way they behave to reap the full rewards of the increased level of carbon dioxide.
Researchers honed in on the two chief isotopes of carbon. The study confirmed that carbon dioxide (CO2) impacts the activity of stomata, the tiny holes found in leaves that allow the plant to take in more CO2.
The stomata also make it possible for water to evaporate from the leaf – water that must be replenished so that the plant won’t dry out.
With the increase in CO2, plants can have more photosynthesis while using the same exact amount of water.
According to the researchers, a portion of the human-induced climate change will likely be offset because the plants are removing more CO2 from the atmosphere.
However, before we get too excited, they’re quick to point out that any benefits could also be offset by matters such as heat waves, sea level rise and biodiversity loss.
To make sure you’re providing the best care for your plants, lawn and garden, call us here at the Juniper Landscape Company. Our number is 619-334-9464.