|What is the
The composition of the atmosphere in
Illinois changing. By the year 2050, the amount of carbon dioxide will be
70% more than in 1960, and the amount of ozone at the surface during the
summer will have more than doubled.
Ozone damage cost US agriculture $2.5
billion in decreased crop yield last year (USEPA/USDA-ARS).
The high localized ozone exposure in
Illinois and the high sensitivity of soybean to ozone could significantly
lower the competitiveness of Illinois agriculture.
In 1999, recorded ozone levels for central
Illinois exceeded the thresholds for crop yield reduction in 28 of 31 days
If nothing is done,
how will soybean production be impacted?
Decreased bean quality, particularly protein content
and possibly flavanoids. Decreased nitrogen and water uptake threatens
increased water pollution. At present, peak ozone levels in Illinois are
estimated to decrease soybean yield by 20%.
How will SoyFACE help?
To find and test:
that will allow maintenance of yield quality and quantity, while
protecting the environment. New genotypes, both from conventional breeding
and gene technology that are better adapted to future conditions.
To discover how:
Yield quality and quantity will change with fertilizer and water use.
Pests, diseases, and weeds are affected.
In the field,
how can we add gases that will just blow away?
FACE uses the wind to elevate the
concentrations of these gases. Plots are surrounded by a ring of poles
supporting tubes with micropores that release carbon dioxide or ozone. If
the wind is coming from the west, the pores on the west side release the
gas so that it is blown across the ring; if from the east, the pores on
the east open, and so on.
are the advantages of FACE?
FACE avoids any changes to the
micro-environment imposed by chambers, thereby providing the most reliable
estimates of plant responses to elevated carbon dioxide and ozone. The
large scale of FACE allows assessment of absolute change in yield, water,
and water use, as well as cultivar and fertilizer trials. SoyFACE will
support a large range of integrated studies on the same plant material,
promoting a comprehensive scientific understanding of atmospheric change.