U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Plant Nutrition, 31: 758–773, 2008. DOI: 10.1080/01904160801928364


Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration could increase crop productivity and alter crop nutrient dynamics. This study was conducted (3 yrs) with two crops ([Glycine max (L.) Merr.] and grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.]) grown under two CO2 levels (ambient and twice ambient) using open top field chambers on a Blanton loamy sand under no-tillage. Macronutrient and micronutrient concentrations and contents were determined for grain, stover, and roots. Although elevated CO2 tended to reduce nutrient concentrations, high CO2 consistently increased nutrient content especially in grain tissue; this response pattern was more notable with macronutrients. The CO2 effect was observed primarily in soybean. The consistent CO2-induced increases in grain macronutrient contents favors reliable predictions of system outputs, however, predictions of crop nutrient inputs (i.e., stover and root contents) to the soil are less robust due to observed variability. Again, this is particularly true in regards to micronutrient dynamics in CO2-enriched cropping systems.