CO2 enrichment and increasing light intensity till a threshold level, enhance growth and water use efficiency of lettuce plants in controlled environment
Keywords:carbon dioxide; lettuce; light intensity; stomatal properties; WUE
Carbon dioxide (CO2) and light intensity are the two main environmental drivers known to play important roles in crop growth and yield. In the current study, lettuce seedlings were exposed to four different light intensities [(75, 150, 300 and 600 Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD)] and four different concentrations of CO2 (400, 800, 1200 and 1600 ppm). By increasing light intensity and CO2 concentration growth parameters such as fresh weight, dry weight and leaf area were stepwise increased from 75 to 300 PPFD and from 400 ppm to 1200 ppm CO2 concentration. Maximum fresh weight was observed in 300 PPFD under both 1200 ppm and 1600 ppm CO2 concentrations. Highest dry weight was obtained in plants exposed to 300 and 600 PPFD under both 1200 and 1600 ppm CO2 concentrations. Highest leaf area was detected in 300 PPFD under both 1200 and 1600 ppm CO2 concentrations. Widest stomatal pore aperture was detected in 600 PPFD under 400 ppm and 800 ppm CO2 concentrations. Evapotranspiration increased in a light intensity and CO2 concentration-dependent manner; higher light intensity or higher CO2 concentration, more evapotranspiration. Highest water use efficiency (WUE) was achieved in plants exposed to 300 PPFD under 1200 ppm CO2 concentration. In conclusion, to achieve best growth performance and WUE, lettuce should be produced under 300 PPFD light intensity and 1200 ppm CO2.
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