Photosynthetic Responses to Climate Change

Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations could reach >1000 ppm by 2100, increasing global temperatures 3-4 °C. Both elevated CO2 and warming affect photosynthesis, altering plant growth, survival, and crop yield and quality. Climate change-induced shifts in photosynthesis also affect the global carbon cycle, mitigating or accelerating further climate change. Understanding how photosynthesis acclimates to future climate conditions is therefore critical for accurately predicting the trajectory of future climate change, as well as for estimating plant productivity in a warmer, high CO2 world. I’ll discuss how elevated temperatures and CO2 concentrations impact photosynthesis and plant performance using meta-analyses, modeling and results from my lab, highlighting what we already know as well as future research directions.