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Effect of elevated CO2 on peanut performance in a semi-arid production region
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology  (IF5.734),  Pub Date : 2021-08-16, DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108599
Haydee E. Laza, Jeffrey T. Baker, Charles Yates, James R. Mahan, Mark D. Burow, Naveen Puppala, Dennis C. Gitz III, Yves Y. Emendack, Nancy Layland, Glen L. Ritchie, Junping Chen, Diane Rowland, David T. Tissue, Paxton R. Payton

With the intensification and frequency of heat waves and periods of water deficit stress, along with rising atmospheric carbon dioxide [CO2], understanding the seasonal leaf-gas-exchange responses to combined abiotic factors will be important in predicting crop performance in semi-arid production systems. In peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), the availability of developmental stage physiological data on the response to repeated water deficit stress periods in an elevated [CO2] (EC) environment is limited and necessary to improve crop model predictions. Here, we investigated the effects of season-long EC (650 µmol CO2 m−2 s−1) on the physiology and productivity of peanut in a semi-arid environment. This study was conducted over two-growing seasons using field-based growth chambers to maintain EC conditions, and impose water-stress at three critical developmental stages. Our results showed that relative to ambient [CO2] (AC), long-term EC during water-stress episodes, increased leaf-level light-saturated CO2 assimilation (Asat), transpiration efficiency (TE), vegetative biomass, and pod yield by 58%, 73%, 58%, and 39%, respectively. Although leaf nitrogen content was reduced by 16%, there was 41% increase in maximum Rubisco carboxylation efficiency in EC, indicating that there was minimal photosynthetic down-regulation. Furthermore, long-term EC modified the short-term physiological response (Asat) to rapid changes in [CO2] during the water-stress episodes, generating a much greater change in EC (54%) compared to AC (10%). Additionally, long-term EC generated a 23% greater Asat compared to the short-term EC during the water-stress episodes. These findings indicate high levels of physiological adjustment in EC, which may increase drought resilience. We concluded that EC may reduce the negative impacts of repeated water-stress events at critical developmental stages on rain-fed peanut in semi-arid regions. These results can inform current models to improve the projections of peanut response to future climates.