The long-term response of Arabidopsis thaliana to increasing CO2 was evaluated in plants grown in 800 mu l 1(-1) CO2 from sowing and maintained, in hydroponics, on three nitrogen supplies: "low," "medium" and "high." The global response to high CO2 and N-supply was evaluated by measuring growth parameters in parallel with photosynthetic activity, leaf carbohydrates, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) messenger RNA and protein, stomatal conductance (g(s)) and density. CO2 enrichment was found to stimulate biomass production, whatever the N-supply. This stimulation was transient on low N-supply and persisted throughout the whole vegetative growth only in high N-supply. Acclimation on low N-high CO2 was not associated with carbohydrate accumulation or with a strong reduction in Rubisco amount or activity. At high N-supply, growth stimulation by high CO2 was mainly because of the acceleration of leaf production and expansion while other parameters such as specific leaf area, root/shoot ratio and g, appeared to be correlated with total leaf area. Our results thus suggest that, in strictly controlled and stable growing conditions, acclimation of A. thaliana to longterm CO2 enrichment is mostly controlled by growth rate adjustment.