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Plant and Soil









Studies dealing with plants’ mineral nutrient status under elevated atmospheric CO2concentration (eCO2) are usually conducted in closed hydroponic systems, in which nutrient solutions are entirely renewed every several days. Here, we investigated the contribution of the fluctuation of concentrations of N ([N]), P ([P]), and K ([K]) in nutrient solutions in this short period on their concentrations in cucumber plants exposed to different [CO2] and N levels.


Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants were hydroponically grown under two [CO2] and three N levels. [N], [P], and [K] in nutrient solutions and cucumber plants were analyzed.


The transpiration rate (Tr) was significantly inhibited by eCO2, whereas Tr per plant was increased due to the larger leaf area. Elevated [CO2] significantly decreased [N] in low N nutrient solutions, which imposed an additional decrease in [N] in plants. [P] in nutrient solutions fluctuated slightly, so the change of [P] in plants might be attributed to the dilution effect and the demand change under eCO2. [K] in moderate and high N nutrient solutions were significantly decreased, which exacerbated the [K] decrease in plants under eCO2.


The short-term fluctuation of [N] and [K] in nutrient solutions is caused by the asynchronous uptakes of N, K, and water under eCO2, which has an appreciable influence on [N] and [K] in plants besides the dilution effect. This defect of the closed hydroponic system may let us exaggerate the negative impact of eCO2 itself on [N] and [K] in plants.


Correction available at: The original article posted here includes the correction.

© 2021 The Authors

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Original Publication Citation

Li, X., Dong, J., Gruda, N. Chu, W. & Duan, Z. (2021) Does the short-term fluctuation of mineral element concentrations in the closed hydroponic experimental facilities affect the mineral concentrations in cucumber plants exposed to elevated CO2?. Plant and Soil, 465(1-2), 125–141.