why do plants need co2 from the atmosphere

Literally thousands of laboratory and field experiments have conclusively demonstrated that enriching the air with carbon dioxide stimulates the growth and development of nearly all plants. They have also revealed that higher-than-normal CO2 concentrations dramatically enhance the efficiency with which plants utilize water, sometimes as much as doubling it in response to a doubling of the air's CO2 content. These CO2-induced improvements typically lead to the development of more extensive and active root systems, enabling plants to more thoroughly explore larger volumes of soil in search of the things they need. Consequently, even in soils lacking sufficient water and nutrients for good growth at today's CO2 concentrations, plants exposed to the elevated atmospheric CO2 levels expected in the future generally show remarkable increases in vegetative productivity, which should enable them to successfully colonize low-rainfall areas that are presently too dry to support more than isolated patches of desert vegetation. Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 also enable plants to better withstand the growth-retarding effects of various environmental stresses, including soil salinity, air pollution, high and low air temperatures, and air-borne and soil-borne plant pathogens.


In fact, atmospheric CO2 enrichment can actually mean the difference between life and death for vegetation growing in extremely stressful circumstances. In light of these facts, it is not surprising that Earth's natural and managed ecosystems have
already benefited immensely from the increase in atmospheric CO2 that has accompanied the progression of the Industrial Revolution; and they will further prosper from future CO2 increases. Join us as we explore these and other important benefits that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are bestowing on plants. Carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels should not be feared; they are something to be celebrated! To learn more, click on one of the categories below Plants act as a good complement to humanity, as the latter species breathes out carbon dioxide, which the plants then turn it into the oxygen humans need to live.


Plants take in carbon dioxide, nutrients from the soil, water, and sunlight and create oxygen and a kind of simple sugar that they use for energy. This is a process necessary to life on Earth. Humans and animals exhale carbon dioxide as a byproduct of respiration. Plants extract the carbon dioxide from the air and use it in photosynthesis process to feed themselves. The carbon dioxide enters the leaves of the plant through small pores called stomata. Once the carbon dioxide enters the plant, the process begins with the help of sunlight and water. During this process, the plant combines carbon dioxide with water to allow the plant to extract what it needs for food. The plant uses sunlight as energy to perform this chemical reaction. Photosynthesis separates carbon dioxide and water в known as CO2 and H2O, respectively в into their individual molecules and combines them into new products. Once the process is done, the plant releases Oxygen, or O2, into the surrounding air. It also creates C6H12O6, a substance similar to glucose, that feeds the plant.


Because they often receive more carbon dioxide and water than they need to sustain their own lives, plants often produce extra food during photosynthesis. In cases like this, plants store this excess food in other areas of its body. In some plants, this food is stored in fruits and vegetables в some of which, humans and animals eat. In a round-about way, the carbon dioxide taken into plants also helps provide food for humans and animals in addition to themselves. Some plants also store excess energy in their leaves. In addition to making food for plants to survive, photosynthesis is an important part of the life cycle of all living things, as most fauna в animal life в require oxygen to survive. Oxygen is in limited supply in the atmosphere: if there was no way to transform the carbon dioxide emitted by living things back into oxygen, life would be unsustainable in the long term. Because plants are able to use the carbon dioxide and change it back into oxygen, life is able to continue for all living things, forming an important cycle.

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