Carbon Dioxide Influences Plant Disease

Crop Diseases and Climate

The Science Daily reported that human-driven changes in the earth’s atmospheric composition are likely to alter plant diseases of the future. Researchers predict carbon dioxide will reach levels double those of the pre-industrial era by the year 2050, complicating agriculture’s need to produce enough food for a rapidly growing population.

Credit of the image to the left goes to the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Soybean plants growing in high carbon dioxide environments have denser canopies that can result in more disease problems. This seedling is showing signs of brown spot on its lower leaves.

University of Illinois researchers are studying the impact of elevated carbon dioxide, elevated ozone and higher atmospheric temperatures on plant diseases that could challenge crops in these changing conditions.

In the Midwest of the United States we are seeing the affects of climate change. Because we have so much rain, popular shade trees such as elm and oak trees are getting mildew and botanist are commending that we do not plant them any more.

So what brings to mind a science fair project that you can do that will influence your community to make shifts in the use of their cars, air conditioning and other pollutants?

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