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DOI: 10.1111/pce.13572

Carbon assimilation in crops at high temperatures

Rebecca A. Slattery and Donald R. Ort


Global temperatures are rising, and higher rates of temperature increase are projected over land areas that encompass the globe's major agricultural regions. In addition to increased growing season temperatures, heat waves are predicted to become more common and severe. High temperatures can inhibit photosynthetic carbon gain of crop plants and thus threaten productivity, the effects of which may interact with other aspects of climate change. Here, we review the current literature assessing temperature effects on photosynthesis in key crops with special attention to field studies using crop canopy heating technology and in combination with other climate variables. We also discuss the biochemical reactions related to carbon fixation that may limit crop photosynthesis under warming temperatures and the current strategies for adaptation. Important progress has been made on several adaptation strategies demonstrating proof‐of‐concept for translating improved photosynthesis into higher yields. These are now poised to test in important food crops.

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