Meeting Abstract

S4-2.3  Jan. 5  Elevated CO2 effects of plant stoichiometry and "hidden hunger" disorder LOLADZE, I.*; ZEA, E.; CASSMAN, K.; MCFADDEN, C.; University of Nebraska - Lincoln iloladze@math.unl.edu

One of the most certain aspects of global change is the increase in the concentrations of atmospheric CO2 - the major nutrient for plants. Field experiments showed that elevated CO2 can alter micronutrient content in plants. Understanding and quantifying such change in plants is important, because chemical elements such as iron (Fe), iodine (I), and zinc (Zn) are already deficient in the diets of the half of human population, which derives 84% of its calories from plant products. Suboptimal concentrations of these and other essential elements in crops contribute to the most widespread nutritional disorder in the world – “hidden hunger”. Apart from an overall decline in nitrogen (N) concentration, however, little is known about the effects of high CO2 on other chemical elements. One of the ways (and, perhaps, the least inexpensive way) to narrow this gap in our knowledge is to construct a mathematical model of an individual plant that reflects the effects of elevated CO2 on its stoichiometry. We present such a minimal, in our view, model consisting of the system of ordinary differential equations that tracks nutrient concentrations in soil, rhizosphere, and inside of a plant. In addition, we compiled the largest to date database of CO2 effects on plant stoichiometry. The preliminary analysis of the model and the database suggests that elevated CO2 leads to an overall decline in micronutrient content in plants. This can aggravate “hidden hunger” disorder.