Elevated Carbon Dioxide Alters the Relative Fitness of Taraxacum officinale Genotypes


I tested whether elevated [CO2] affected which genotypes of Taraxacum officinale had highest fitness in two field experiments. In one experiment, T. officinale plants which persisted as weeds in alfalfa plots in open top chambers at ambient and elevated [CO2] were compared. In a second experiment, T. officinale seeds collected from local habitats were mixed and scattered in open top chambers at ambient and elevated [CO2], and plants producing seeds after one and two years in monocultures were compared. In both experiments seeds produced in each chamber were collected, and many plants from the seed lot from each chamber were grown in controlled environment chambers to test whether the [CO2] of the chamber of origin affected the mean value of various plant parameters. In both experiments, the results indicated that field exposure to elevated [CO2] altered the relative fitness of genotypes. Elevated [CO2] favored genotypes which produced biomass more rapidly at elevated [CO2] in both experiments, primarily because of faster rates of leaf initiation. The results suggest that genotypes of this species vary widely in fitness at elevated [CO2] whether grown in monocultures or in mixed communities, and that this species could adapt rapidly to rising atmospheric [CO2].

Share and Cite:

J. Bunce, "Elevated Carbon Dioxide Alters the Relative Fitness of Taraxacum officinale Genotypes," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012, pp. 202-208. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.32024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] J. K. Ward and J. K. Kelly, “Scaling up Evolutionary Responses to Elevated CO2: Lessons from Arabidopsis,” Ecology Letters, Vol. 7, No. 5, 2004, pp. 427-440. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00589.x
[2] L. H. Ziska, J. A. Bunce and F. Caulfield, “Intraspecific Variation in Seed Yield of Soybean (Glycine max) in Response to Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, Vol. 25, No. 7, 1998, pp. 801-807. doi:10.1071/PP98058
[3] J. A. Bunce, “Contrasting Responses of Seed Yield to Elevated Carbon Dioxide under Field Conditions within Phaseolus vulgaris,” Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 128, No. 4, 2008, pp. 219-224. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2008.06.003
[4] H. Shimono, M. Okada, Y. Yamakawa, H. Nakamura, K. Kobayashi and T. Hasegawa, “Genotypic Variation in Rice Yield Enhancement by Elevated CO2 Relates to Growth before Heading, and Not to Maturity Group,” Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 60, No. 2, 2009, pp. 523-532. doi:10.1093/jxb/ern288
[5] A. M. Rae, P. J. Tricker, S. M. Bunn and G. Taylor, “Adaptation of Tree Growth to Elevated CO2: Quantitative Trait Loci for Biomass in Populus,” New Phytologist, Vol. 175, No. 1, 2007, pp. 69-79. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02091.x
[6] J. K. Ward, J. Antonovics, R. B. Thomas and B. R. Strain, “Is Atmospheric CO2 a Selective Agent on Model C3 Annuals?” Oecologia, Vol. 123, 2000, pp. 330-341. doi:10.1007/s004420051019
[7] P. Li, A. Sioson, S. P. Mane, A. Ulanov, G. Grothaus, L. S. Heath, T. M. Murali, H. J. Bohnert and R. Grene, “Response Diversity of Arabidopsis Thaliana Ecotypes in Elevated [CO2] in the Field,” Plant Molecular Biology, Vol. 62, 2006, pp. 593-609. doi:10.1007/s11103-006-9041-y
[8] M. Fordham, J. D. Barnes, I. Bettarini, A. Polle, N. Slee, C. Raines, F. Miglietta and A. Raschi, “The Impact of Elevated CO2 on Growth and Photosynthesis in Agrostis canina L. ssp. montelucci Adapted to Contrasting Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations,” Oecologia, Vol. 110, 1997, pp. 169-178. doi:10.1007/s004420050146
[9] A. Polle, I. McKee and L. Balschke, “Altered Physiological and Growth Responses to Elevated [CO2] in Offspring from Holm Oak (Quercus ilex L). Mother Trees with Lifetime Exposure to Naturally Elevated [CO2],” Plant, Cell and Enviornment, Vol. 24, 2001, pp. 1075-1083. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3040.2001.00752.x
[10] P. C. D. Newton and G. E. Edwards, “Plant Breeding for a Changing Environment,” In: P. C. D. Newton, R. A. Carran, G. R. Edwards and P. A. Niklaus, Eds., Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate, Taylor and Prancis Publishers, London, 2007, pp. 309-319.
[11] I. Nakamura, Y. Onoda, N. Matsushima, J. Yokoyama, M. Kawata and K. Hikosaka, “Phenotypic and Genetic Differences in a Perennial Herb across a Natural Gradient of CO2 Concentration,” Oecologia, Vol. 165, 2011, pp. 809-818. doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1900-1
[12] F. A. Bazzaz, M. Jasienski, S. C. Thomas and P. Wayne, “Microevolutionary Responses in Experimental Populations of Plants to CO2-Enriched Environments: Parallel Results from Two Model Systems,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, Vol. 92, No. 18, 1995, pp. 8161-8165. doi:10.1073/pnas.92.18.8161
[13] R. Steinger, A. Stephan and B. Schmid, “Predicting Adaptive Evolution under Elevated Atmospheric CO2 in the Perennial Grass Bromus erectus,” Global Change Biology, Vol. 13, No. 5, 2007, pp. 1028-1039. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01328.x
[14] S. Wieneke, D. Prati, R. Barndl and J. Stocklin, “Genetic Variation in Sanguisorba minor after 6 years in Situ Selection under Elevated CO2,” Global Change Biology, Vol. 10, No. 8, 2004, pp. 1389-1401. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2004.00813.x
[15] M. A. Gonzalez-Meler, E. Blanc-Betes, C. E. Flower and J. K. Ward, “Plastic and Adaptive Responses of Plant Respiration to Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Concentra-tion,” Physiologia Plantarum, Vol. 137, 2009, pp. 473-484. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.2009.01262.x
[16] Y. Onoda, T. Hirose and K. Hikosaka, “Does Leaf Pho-tosynthesis Adapt to CO2-Enriched Environments? An Experiment on Plants Originating from Three Natural CO2 Springs,” New Phytologist, Vol. 182, No. 3, 2009, pp. 698-709. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02786.x
[17] J. A. Bunce, “Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide on Photosynthesis and Productivity of Alfalfa in Relation to Seasonal Changes in Temperature,” Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, Vol. 13, 2007, pp. 243-252.
[18] J. A. Bunce, “Relationships between Maximum Photosynthetic Rates and Photosynthetic Tolerance of Low Leaf Water Potentials,” Canadian Journal of Botany, Vol. 59, No. 5, 1981, pp. 769-774. doi:10.1139/b81-108
[19] A. H. Teramura and B. R. Strain, “Localized Populational Differences in the Photosynthetic Response to Temperature and Irradiance in Plantago lanceolata,” Canadian Journal of Botany, Vol. 57, No. 22, 1979, pp. 2559-2563. doi:10.1139/b79-304
[20] D. A. Sims and S. Kelley, “Somatic and Genetic Factors in Sun and Shade Population Differentiation in Plantago lanceolata and Anthoxanthum odoratum,” New Phytologist, Vol. 140, No. 1, 1998, pp. 75-84. doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.1998.00248.x
[21] J. A. Lau, J. Peiffer, P. B. Reich and P. Tiffin, “Transgenerational Effects of Global Environmental Change: Long-Term CO2 and Nitrogen Treatments Influence Offspring Growth Response to Elevated CO2,” Oecologia, Vol. 158, No. 1, 2008, pp. 141-150. doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1127-6
[22] T. M. McPeek and X. Wang, “Reproduction of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) in a Higher CO2 Environment,” Weed Science, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2007, pp. 334-340. doi:10.1614/WS-07-021

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.