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Ozone Exposure and Impacts on Vegetation in the Nordic and Baltic Countries

Journal article
Authors Per Erik Karlsson
Håkan Pleijel
David Simpson
Published in Ambio
Volume 38
Issue 8
Pages 402-405
ISSN 0044-7447
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Pages 402-405
Language en
Keywords ozone, vegetation, nordic countries, climate
Subject categories Environmental chemistry, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Ecology

Abstract

Ozone concentrations are generally considerably lower over northern Europe as compared with continental and southern Europe. However, ozone becomes toxic for vegetation mainly after it has been taken up into the leaf interior through the stomata. The rates of ozone uptake into the leaves are, somewhat simplified, the product of the air ozone concentrations and the degree of stomatal opening. The phytotoxic impacts of ozone can be almost as important in northern Europe as they are in continental and southern Europe. The long daylight hours as well as the rather humid environment conditions, both in the air and soil, promote stomatal openings in northern Europe. This article summarizes scientific evidence that supports the conclusion that ozone abatement policies regarding vegetation in Europe, as well as in the rest of the world, should be based on estimates of the leaf ozone uptake and not only on the ozone concentration in the air.

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