The Rhodes University Elevated CO2 Facility (RUECF) is the first of its kind in Africa, allowing for novel and valuable research on the future of our local plant species in the face of global climate change. It is well established that atmospheric CO2 concentrations have risen drastically and will continue to rise into the future. Given the requirements of plant photosynthesis for CO2, this presents and interesting and important area of study. We use Open-Top Chambers in which CO2 concentrations can be controlled to see how the growth and performance of different plant species is affected by elevated CO2. To date our research has included in depth studies into the effects of elevated CO2 on agriculturally important crops (Rhodes University Botany Dept. and the University of Fort Hare), the issue of woody thickening in our savannas (Rhodes University Botany Dept. and the University of Sheffield), and the biological control of invasive water weeds (The Centre for Biological Control). Funding for the construction, maintenance and running of the RUECF and the research conducted has been received from the multiple sources listed below.
Fig 1. The Keeling Curve showing increases in atmospheric CO2 from the years 1960 to 2020. Figure taken from the Global Monitoring Laboratory (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/).
Fig 2. IPCC predictions of CO2 increases over the 21st century. Figure taken from Van Vuuren et al., 2011.
Last Modified: Tue, 15 Feb 2022 14:56:03 SAST