13.2.3  Respiratory adjustments

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Dark respiration of plants and plant parts is often decreased by CO2 enrichment. Short-term, quickly reversible suppressions and long-term decreases in specific respiration have both been observed. Short-term effects have been attributed to an inhibition of cytochrome oxidase activity by elevated CO2 concentration. Long-term effects may relate to a smaller energy requirement for tissues with lower protein contents which are usually found in CO2-enriched environments. Details of such respiratory inhibitions are still to be worked out, but on balance they probably play a small role in growth response to CO2 enrichment.