Crop quality under rising atmospheric CO2

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2018 Oct;45(Pt B):262-267. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2018.06.001. Epub 2018 Jun 26.


Crops grown under elevated CO2 (eCO2) typically exhibit enhanced yields but at the same time decreased nutritional quality. The latter effect has often been explained as a growth dilution phenomenon, but this cannot be the only process involved since crop nutrient concentrations are decreased also when production is unaffected by eCO2. We review the current knowledge on eCO2 effects on crop nutritional quality with focus on the current understanding of the possible mechanisms and processes causing these effects. Emphasis is on crop nitrogen (N) and protein concentrations but effects on other nutrients and how they compare with those on N are also covered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism*
  • Crops, Agricultural / metabolism*
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Phosphorus / metabolism


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen