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Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense) in an elevated CO2 Environment

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Abstract:

Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense Lour.) is an invasive plant currently threatening ecosystems in the southeastern United States and along its eastern seaboard. Control of this weed has generally been most effective if caught early enough to pull or dig out seedlings, meaning that effective control is accomplished with young or immature plants. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on the growth of Chinese privet. Chinese privet, produced from seed, were grown at either 375 mol mol-1 (ambient) or 575 mol mol-1 (elevated) CO2 in open top field chambers. Chinese privet seedlings grown under high CO2 had greater numbers of branches and tended to have larger diameters and greater total root length. Increases in component part dry weights under elevated CO2 resulted in significantly greater total plant biomass (42%). Root dry weight was significantly greater under CO2 enriched conditions (44%); however, CO2 did not affect root to shoot ratio nor allocation of biomass among plant organs. These finding indicate that Chinese privet will become a more troublesome weed as atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise and suggests that early control may become an even more important issue.

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