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Posted Wed Aug 3 2011: from EurekAlert:
Crop breeding could 'slash CO2 levels'
Writing in the journal Annals of Botany, Professor Douglas Kell argues that developing crops that produce roots more deeply in the ground could harvest more carbon from the air, and make crops more drought resistant, while dramatically reducing carbon levels. In principle, any crops could be treated in this way, giving more productive yields while also being better for the environment.... Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields.... "In addition to the simple carbon sequestration that this breeding could imply - possibly double that of common annual grain crops - such plants seem to mobilise and retain nutrients and water very effectively over extended periods, thus providing resistance to drought, flooding and other challenges we shall face from climate change. "While there is a way to go before such crops might have, for example, the grain yields of present day cereals, their breeding and deployment seems a very promising avenue for sustainable agriculture."
[Read more stories about: carbon sequestration, sustainability, technical cleverness]
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