Dave Goorahoo, Florence Cassel S., Shawn Ashkan & Bardia Dehghanmanshadi
California State Unversity-Fresno, United States
Keywords: Sequestration, Water Use Efficiency, Ethanol, Carbon recycling, BiomassThrough photosynthesis, plants are major sinks for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emitted from energy production systems. The goal of our current research is to develop a CO2 application program aimed at delivering CO2 cost-effectively for utilization, and eventual sequestration into the soil, by vegetable crops exposed to elevated CO2 levels. Over the past two years, our focus has been on the evaluation of agronomic water use efficiency (WUE) of tomato under elevated CO2 with reduced water application rates. Our findings to date, have demonstrated that elevated CO2 increases the yield of harvestable fresh market tomatoes. Irrigation treatments did not have any significant effect on plant height and above ground biomass. However elevated CO2 had positive effects on plant height, above ground biomass, and root weight. These results are very encouraging as we continue to evaluate the productivity, quality and WUE of tomato crop subjected to elevated CO2. More importantly, the current research highlights the potential of using agronomic crops to capture and utilize CO2 emissions, as much as 80% of the crop biomass is ultimately incorporated into the soil after harvest of the marketable product.