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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Low to Adequate Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density on Growth, Physiology and Nutrient Use Efficiency of Juvenile Cacao Genotypes

1
USDA-ARS-Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
2
Department of Biological Science, State University of Santa Cruz, Ilhéus, BA 45650-000, Brazil
3
IRREC, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciience, University of Florida, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Daymond
Agronomy 2021, 11(2), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020397
Received: 25 January 2021 / Revised: 18 February 2021 / Accepted: 19 February 2021 / Published: 23 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Understanding Physiological Processes of the Cacao Tree)
Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) was grown as an understory tree in agroforestry systems where it received inadequate to adequate levels of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). As atmospheric carbon dioxide steadily increased, it was unclear what impact this would have on cacao growth and development at low PPFD. This research evaluated the effects of ambient and elevated levels carbon dioxide under inadequate to adequate levels of PPFD on growth, physiological and nutrient use efficiency traits of seven genetically contrasting juvenile cacao genotypes. Growth parameters (total and root dry weight, root length, stem height, leaf area, relative growth rate and net assimilation rates increased, and specific leaf area decreased significantly in response to increasing carbon dioxide and PPFD. Increasing carbon dioxide and PPFD levels significantly increased net photosynthesis and water-use efficiency traits but significantly reduced stomatal conductance and transpiration. With few exceptions, increasing carbon dioxide and PPFD reduced macro–micro nutrient concentrations but increased uptake, influx, transport and nutrient use efficiency in all cacao genotypes. Irrespective of levels of carbon dioxide and PPFD, intraspecific differences were observed for growth, physiology and nutrient use efficiency of cacao genotypes. View Full-Text
Keywords: water use efficiency; nutrient uptake; influx and transport; net photosynthesis; stomal conductance; relative growth rate water use efficiency; nutrient uptake; influx and transport; net photosynthesis; stomal conductance; relative growth rate
MDPI and ACS Style

Baligar, V.C.; Elson, M.K.; Almeida, A.-A.F.; de Araujo, Q.R.; Ahnert, D.; He, Z. The Impact of Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Low to Adequate Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density on Growth, Physiology and Nutrient Use Efficiency of Juvenile Cacao Genotypes. Agronomy 2021, 11, 397. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020397

AMA Style

Baligar VC, Elson MK, Almeida A-AF, de Araujo QR, Ahnert D, He Z. The Impact of Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Low to Adequate Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density on Growth, Physiology and Nutrient Use Efficiency of Juvenile Cacao Genotypes. Agronomy. 2021; 11(2):397. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020397

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baligar, Virupax C.; Elson, Marshall K.; Almeida, Alex-Alan F.; de Araujo, Quintino R.; Ahnert, Dario; He, Zhenli. 2021. "The Impact of Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Low to Adequate Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density on Growth, Physiology and Nutrient Use Efficiency of Juvenile Cacao Genotypes" Agronomy 11, no. 2: 397. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020397

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