Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trees Using Water more efficiently Due to Carbon Dioxide Increase

Trees are using water more efficiently now than they did two decades back, according to a new study from Harvard University and the U.S. Forest Service. Researchers said that increased levels of carbon dioxide and lower levels of water in many parts of the world have increased the efficiency of water usage in trees. Plants use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via a process called photosynthesis, where they lose water through leaves. The ratio of water loss to fixed carbon is important to the water and carbon cycles of an ecosystem. Rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has already led to the greening of many deserts. Industry experts claim that rise in greenhouse gases will help woody trees more than the grasses. "What's surprising is we didn't expect the effect to be this big. A large proportion of the ecosystems in the world are limited by water. They don't have enough water during the year to reach their maximum growth. If they become more efficient at using water, they should be able to take more carbon out of the atmosphere due to higher growth rates," said Dr. Trevor F. Keenan Research Fellow, Macquarie University in Sydney, according to a news release...more

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