Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have a negative impact on the protein content of wheat grain and thus its nutritional quality. This is the finding of researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in a recently published study in the journal Global Change Biology.
Elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide stimulate the photosynthesis and growth of most plants. However, unless plants increase their uptake of nutrients to a corresponding degree, their yields will have a lower nutritional value. A lower level of the nutrient nitrogen results in a lower protein content, and thus poorer nutritional quality.