Saurav Saha has completed his Masters (2010) and Doctoral studies (2010 - 2012) in the discipline of Agricultural Physics, from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Presently he is working as a Junior Scientist in the ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Umiam, Meghalaya. He has so far 2 publications, one each in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment and Agricultural and Forest Meteorology journals. His future goal is to serve the Indian agriculture with his best scientific inputs.


An open top chamber experiment was conducted at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi to study the response of kabuli chickpea (Pusa-1105) towards atmospheric CO2 enrichment (560±20 ppm) with subsequent changes in canopy structure and other plant biophysical characteristics for two consecutive years 2010-11 and 2011-12. Peak value of leaf area index (LAI) was amplified by 22.6%, with a significant reduction in canopy extinction coefficient (k) by 18.5% under elevated CO2. In spite of increased LAI, there was no significant difference in cumulative radiation interception (IPAR) by the crop; however, the efficiency of radiation conversion into biomass was 85% higher under elevated CO2. No significant change in cumulative root water uptake was observed, although the crop water use efficiency was 73.5% higher under elevated CO2. The specific leaf area significantly reduced under elevated CO2 with an increased in area per unit leaf, indicating the possibility of occurrence of thicker leaf lamina due to elevated CO2 exposure along with increased specific leaf nitrogen and wider leaf C:N ratio, especially during anthesis. Increase in efficiency for biomass accumulation, due to increased leaf photosynthesis along with 20% increase in the harvest index, were the major contributors for improved resource use efficiency of chickpea under elevated CO2. Results from the study will help in modifying the crop growth models to account for the elevated CO2 induced change in resource utilization in chickpea.