Rising carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere is lowering protein in key dietary crops which may affect the nutritious value of foods, a new study has warned.
For the first time, a field test has demonstrated that elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants’ assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies, researchers said.
„Food quality is declining under the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that we are experiencing,” said lead author Arnold Bloom, a professor in the department of plant sciences at University of California, Davis.
„Several explanations for this decline have been put forward, but this is the first study to demonstrate that elevated carbon dioxide inhibits the conversion of nitrate into protein in a field-grown crop,” he said.
The assimilation, or processing, of nitrogen plays a key role in the plant’s growth and productivity.
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