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New stomatal flux-based critical levels for ozone effects on vegetation

Journal article
Authors Gina Mills
Håkan Pleijel
Sabine Braun
Patrick Büker
Victoria Bermejo
Esperanza Calvo
Helena Danielsson
Lisa Emberson
Ignacio Gonzalez Fernandez
Ludger Grunhage
Harry Harmens
Felicity Hayes
Per Erik Karlsson
David Simpson
Published in Atmospheric Environment
Volume 45
Issue 28
Pages 5064-5068
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Pages 5064-5068
Language en
Keywords Ozone; Flux; Critical levels; Food security; Ecosystem services; Trees; Grasslands
Subject categories Terrestrial ecology, Environmental chemistry


The critical levels for ozone effects on vegetation have been reviewed and revised by the LRTAP Convention. Eight new or revised critical levels based on the accumulated stomatal flux of ozone (PODY, the Phytotoxic Ozone Dose above a threshold flux of Y nmol m−2 PLA s−1, where PLA is the projected leaf area) have been agreed. For each receptor, data were combined from experiments conducted under naturally fluctuating environmental conditions in 2–4 countries, resulting in linear dose–response relationships with response variables specific to each receptor (r2 = 0.49–0.87, p < 0.001 for all). For crops, critical levels were derived for effects on wheat (grain yield, grain mass, and protein yield), potato (tuber yield) and tomato (fruit yield). For forest trees, critical levels were derived for effects on changes in annual increment in whole tree biomass for beech and birch, and Norway spruce. For (semi-)natural vegetation, the critical level for effects on productive and high conservation value perennial grasslands was based on effects on important component species of the genus Trifolium (clover species). These critical levels can be used to assess protection against the damaging effects of ozone on food security, important ecosystem services provided by forest trees (roundwood production, C sequestration, soil stability and flood prevention) and the vitality of pasture.

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