Short- and long-term warming events on photosynthetic physiology, growth, and yields of field grown crops

Carl J. Bernacchi, Ursula M. Ruiz-Vera, Matthew H. Siebers, Nicholas J. DeLucia, Donald R. Ort

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Global temperatures are rising from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere associated with anthropogenic activities. Global warming includes a warmer shift in mean temperatures as well as increases in the probability of extreme heating events, termed heat waves. Despite the ability of plants to cope with temporal variations in temperature, global warming is increasingly presenting challenges to agroecosystems. The impact of warming on crop species has direct consequences on food security, therefore understanding impacts and opportunities to adapt crops to global warming necessitates experimentation that allows for modification of growth environments to represent global warming scenarios. Published studies addressing crop responses to warming are extensive, however, in-field studies where growth temperature is manipulated to mimic global warming are limited. Here, we provide an overview of in-field heating techniques employed to understand crop responses to warmer growth environments. We then focus on key results associated with season-long warming, as expected with rising global mean temperatures, and with heat waves, as a consequence of increasing temperature variability and rising global mean temperatures. We then discuss the role of rising temperatures on atmospheric water vapor pressure deficit and potential implications for crop photosynthesis and productivity. Finally, we review strategies by which crop photosynthetic processes might be optimized to adapt crops to the increasing temperatures and frequencies of heat waves. Key findings from this review are that higher temperatures consistently reduce photosynthesis and yields of crops even as atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, yet potential strategies to minimize losses from high-temperature exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1014
Number of pages16
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Short- and long-term warming events on photosynthetic physiology, growth, and yields of field grown crops'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this