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Climate Change: Characterizing Plant Responses to Current and Future Levels of Carbon Dioxide and Ozone

Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Project Description: 

Timothy and alfalfa are important forage crops that are fed to domestic animals. In future climate change, they will be exposed to elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3). We know little about how common varieties of these perennial plants respond to current levels of CO2 and O3. We do not know how cultivars of these plants would respond to future elevated levels of CO2 and O3.Plants will be exposed to current and future levels of CO2 and O3 in greenhouse exposure chambers. Sampling at regular intervals will determine how plants respond to current and elevated CO2 and O3.Identification of O3 tolerant and CO2-stimulated cultivars will be useful for future plantings and for plant breeders. Cultivars that benefit from elevated CO2 and are not adversely affected by elevated O3 will be very useful in the future.