Pumped-up Poison Ivy: Carbon dioxide boosts plant's size, toxicity

9:29am, May 31, 2006

Whatever troubles climate change might bring to the world's other species, rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could be the best thing yet for poison ivy.

An outdoor experiment mimicking the carbon dioxide rise predicted for this century found that poison ivy vines grew more than twice as much per year as they did in unaltered air, says Jacqueline E. Mohan, now of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. That growth streak is nearly five times the increase reported for some tree species in other analyses.

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