Several studies have shown there are a number of CO2-induced changes in plant physiology, anatomy and morphology that have been implicated in increased plant resistance to disease and that can potentially enhance host resistance at elevated CO2, among which phenomena are:
- increased net photosynthesis allowing mobilization of resources into host resistance,
- a reduction in stomatal density and conductance,
- greater accumulation of carbohydrates in leaves,
- more waxes, extra layers of epidermal cells and increased fiber content,
- production of papillae and accumulation of silicon at disease penetration sites,
- more mesophyll cells, and
- increased biosynthesis of phenolics.
Because of these changes, atmospheric CO2 enrichment asserts its greatest positive influence on infected as opposed to healthy plants. Consequently, as the atmosphere's CO2 concentration continues its upward climb, Earth's vegetation should be increasingly better equipped to successfully deal with pathogenic organisms and the damage they have traditionally done to mankind's crops, as well as to the plants that sustain the rest of the planet's animal life.
** For additional peer-reviewed scientific references and an in-depth discussion of the science supporting our position, please visit Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental Planel on Climate Change (www.climatechangereconsidered.org), or CO2 Science (www.co2science.org).