La Trobe
2019 Jin STOTEN 651, 2641.pdf (465.8 kB)
Download file

Impact of elevated CO2 on grain nutrient concentration varies with crops and soils - A long-term FACE study

Download (465.8 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2021-02-10, 03:59 authored by Jian JinJian Jin, Roger ArmstrongRoger Armstrong, Caixian TangCaixian Tang
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. The impact of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on grain nutrient concentration is becoming a global concern in terms of future human nutrition. Previous research has shown that eCO2 can alter the availability and uptake of nutrients in crops. However, the interactive effects of long-term eCO2 and soil types on the concentrations of nutrients in grain are poorly understood. By understanding such effects, we are able to develop management practices that maintain grain nutritional quality while improving crop yield in response to future climatic conditions. We conducted a seven-year experiment of free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) with a rotation of wheat, field pea and canola grown in a Chromosol (Luvisol), Vertosol (Vertisol) and Calcarosol (Calcic Xerosol) under ambient CO2 (aCO2) (390 ± 10 μmol mol−1) or eCO2 (550 ± 30 μmol mol−1). The concentration and amount of five macro- and four micro-nutrients in grain over the seven years were determined. Compared to aCO2, the concentrations of N, P and Zn decreased by 6%, 5% and 10% under eCO2, respectively, irrespective of soil, crop and year. A greater decrease in N concentration was found in canola and wheat compared to field pea. The reduction in P and Mg concentration of canola was significant in Chromosol, but not in the Vertosol nor Calcarosol soils. The concentrations of K, Fe, Mn and Cu were not affected by eCO2 in any crop grown in the soils tested. Furthermore, eCO2 significantly decreased soil labile N and P and exchangeable Mg and Cu due to greater nutrient uptake, which was in part ascribed to the decreased nutrient accumulation in crop grains. It appears that eCO2 lowers the nutritional quality (nutrient concentration) in grains of non-legume crops, and that the extent of this decrease was greater in relatively fertile than infertile soils.


The Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment program including SoilFACE is jointly run by Agriculture Victoria Research (Victorian State Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) with the University of Melbourne and funding from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australian Government. We gratefully acknowledge Mel Munn, Roger Perris, Liana Warren and Russel Argall and team(Agriculture Victoria Research) for management the SoilFACE experiment and Mahabubur Mollah (Research Engineer, Agriculture Victoria) for running SoilFACE. This study was also supported by a fellowship of Research Officer in the School of Life Sciences at La Trobe University.


Publication Date



Science of the Total Environment




Pt 2


7p. (p. 2641-2647)





Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.