2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

The Effect of CO2 on Leaf Growth in Phaseolus vulgaris
Kara P. Wilson* and Garrett C. McCormack
Dr. Todd Palumbo and Prof. Zhong Ma, Faculty Mentors

Physiological changes in growth and leaf area are evident in many plant species due to increased atmospheric CO2 levels. This project investigated temporal changes in leaf area and number of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in response to different atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Plants were grown for 7 weeks in two CO2 concentrations: 350 vs. 581 ppm. Photographs of leaves were taken weekly during the growth period, and were analyzed using Photoshop and ImageJ to determine the leaf area. Total leaf area and leaf number in both environments displayed similar responses for the first two weeks, after which the plants in the high CO2 environment showed higher total leaf area and number of leaves. At harvest, plants in the high CO2 environment produced a higher yield and larger bean pods. In general, bean plants responded to increased CO2 concentrations by developing more and larger leaves that support increased yields.

Keywords: CO2, Leaf area, Beans, Image analysis, Yield

Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 700-1
Location: Georgian Room - SUB
Time: 0:00

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