The Bell Lab
Department of Biology

Current Research Program
Major research themes


Adaptation to elevated CO2

One of the direct consequences of industrial activity is an increase in the CO2 concentration of the air. This affects plant growth and may have important ecological consequences.  We have investigated how phytoplankton populations evolve in response to elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

  • Collins, S., Sultemeyer, D. & Bell, G. 2006. Rewinding the tape: selection of algae adapted to high CO2 at current and Pleistocene levels of CO2. Evolution 60: 1392-1401.
  • Collins, S., Sultemeyer, D. & Bell, G. 2006. Changes in C uptake in populations of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii selected at high CO2. Plant, Cell and Environment 29:1812-1819.
  • Collins, S. & Bell, G. 2006. Evolution of natural algal populations at elevated CO2. Ecology Letters 9: 129-135.
  • Collins S. & Bell G. 2004. Phenotypic consequences of 1000 generations of selection at elevated CO2 in a green alga. Nature 431:566-569. NSERC DG.

Sampling soil algae at a natural CO2 spring in Italy