Heat stress prevented the biomass and yield stimulation caused by elevated CO2 in two well-watered wheat cultivars
To investigate the interactive effects of elevated CO2 and heat stress (HS), we grew two contrasting wheat cultivars, early-maturing Scout and high-tillering Yitpi, under non-limiting water and nutrients at ambient (aCO2, 450 ppm) or elevated (eCO2, 650 ppm) CO2 and 22°C in the glasshouse. Plants were exposed to two 3-day HS cycles at the vegetative (38.1°C) and/or flowering (33.5°C) stage. At aCO2, both wheat cultivars showed similar responses of photosynthesis and mesophyll conductance to
... erature and produced similar grain yield. Relative to aCO2, eCO2 enhanced photosynthesis rate and reduced stomatal conductance and maximal carboxylation rate (Vcmax). During HS, high temperature stimulated photosynthesis at eCO2 in both cultivars, while eCO2 stimulated photosynthesis in Scout. Electron transport rate (Jmax) was unaffected by any treatment. eCO2 equally enhanced biomass and grain yield of both cultivars in control, but not HS, plants. HS reduced biomass and yield of Scout at eCO2. Yitpi, the cultivar with higher grain nitrogen, underwent a trade-off between grain yield and nitrogen. In conclusion, eCO2 improved photosynthesis of control and HS wheat, and improved biomass and grain yield of control plants only. Under well-watered conditions, HS was not detrimental to photosynthesis or growth but precluded a yield response to eCO2.