increased green …

I have posted many times on the increased plant material produced by elevated atmospheric CO2, including potatoes, yesterday. Today we have a look at this medicinal species of Aster from Brazil.

Positive Effects of Elevated CO2 on an Important Brazilian Shrub (15 May 2015)
A new study reveals ten amazing ways by which a doubling of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration can enhance the growth and development of a Neotropical plant that is often found in harsh environments, the aerial parts of which plants have significant medicinal value…

Asteraceae species are common in Australia, and some even have cancer inhibiting compounds. Just keep pumping out that CO2:

[…] The five Brazilian researchers report that “seedlings grown under elevated CO2 showed higher values of total dry mass (increase of 134%), root dry mass (increase of 208%), stem dry mass (increase of 152%), leaf dry mass (increase of 97%), total leaf area (increase of 49%), plant height (increase of 52%), number of leaves (increase of 63%), number of branches (increase of 137%), number of nodes (increase of 34%) and length of internodes (increase of 17%) than plants grown in ambient [CO2].”

Not bad results for a plant that occurs, in the words of the five researchers, “in degraded areas and in early succession stages, in the transition zone between forest and grasslands,” as reported by Muller et al. (2007) and Negreiros et al. (2014), as well as in “environments with low nutrient limitation.”

Muller, S.C., Overbeck, G.E., Pfadenhauer, J. and Pillar, V.D. 2007. Plant functional types of woody species related to fire disturbance in forest-grassland ecotones. Plant Ecology 189: 1-14.


More CO2 allows plants to thrive with less moisture, shown by the increasing green of the Sahel in Africa, and Australian Deserts. Let’s have a look at the other kind of potato:

Ipomoea batatas [Sweet Potato] 6 33.7% 9.3% 1 148% 0%


More than double, with an extra 600ppm CO2, and a third extra with an extra 300ppm.


Ipomoea costata, Bush Yam, found in much of Australia’s deserts


About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
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