Plant Physiology & CO2

Contrary to popular belief, there is extensive environmental variation in the tropics, on different temporal and spatial scales. Like animals, plants have adaptations that allow them to fine-tune their physiology, growth and reproduction in response to local environmental conditions.

With state-of-the-art equipment, STRI is a leading center for research on tropical plant physiology. A particular emphasis is on the physiological responses to environmental stress, such as drought, as well as on the response of tropical forests to elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), which may be associated with global warming. After conducting small-scale experimentation on the effects of elevated CO2 levels on seedling growth and carbon sequestration, STRI is establishing for the first time in the tropics a carbon dioxide enhancement experiment (the Free Air Carbon Enhancement Project) to study forest regeneration over several years, to learn more about the CO2 response of tropical trees.


Staff scientists researching Plant Physiology