Discriminating Plants

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Science  30 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5513, pp. 2562-2563
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059472

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The isotopic composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide provides a measure of the terrestrial carbon sink, that is, the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the terrestrial biosphere. First, however, a quantitative understanding of the plant response to carbon dioxide containingO is required. In his Perspective, Woodward discusses the report by Gillon and Yakir, who suggest that current understanding of the way in which plants discriminate against carbon dioxide containingO is incomplete, resulting in incorrect sink estimates.