Increased temperatures may safeguard the nutritional quality of crops under future elevated CO2 concentrations (Plant J)

Increases in atmospheric CO2 have been shown to confer enhanced photosynthetic rates, boosting plant growth and yield.  Unfortunately, there is evidence that the content of minerals important for human health are reduced in both the foliar and edible tissues when plants are grown under elevated CO2 (eCO2).  However, future increases in atmospheric CO2 are likely to be combined with a concomitant increase in temperature.  Köhler et al. explored the individual and combined effects of eCO2 and elevated temperature (eT) on the nutrient content of soybean.  eCO2 increased yield and reduced the mineral content of soybeans, consistent with previous studies.  In contrast, eT reduced soybean yield and increased the mineral content.  When the treatments were combined, the effects of each individual treatment were largely cancelled out, suggesting that fears over future mineral nutrition may not be well-founded.  It will be interesting to see if this response to both eCO2 and eT is conserved across other globally important crops.  (Summary by Mike Page) Plant J 10.1111/tpj.14166