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Against this background, the Iraqi researcher conducted a laboratory experiment where "clay soil samples infested with Verticillium dahliae were exposed to different CO2 concentrations (350, 700, 1050, 1400, 1750 ppm air) and incubated in hot water baths at 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55°C," while "field plots were exposed to the same CO2 levels during soil solarization in three periods (1st of July to 30th of September, 1st of August to 30th of September, and 1st to 30th of September)."
Results indicated that higher than normal CO2 contents in the soil increased maximum soil temperatures while reducing the length of time required to kill 90% of the propagules of V. dahliae in natural field soil with moisture content at field capacity. As an example, he notes that this killing time parameter in soil heated to 35°C was reduced from 24 days at the normal ambient CO2 concentration to 15 days at 1750 ppm CO2; and he states that sub-lethal soil temperatures were raised to lethal levels as the soil's CO2 content was raised. In a high-CO2 world of the future, therefore, soil solarization should become an even more viable method of controlling soil-borne pathogens and weeds than it is today.
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