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Current surface ozone concentrations significantly decrease wheat growth, yield and quality

Journal article
Authors Håkan Pleijel
Malin Broberg
Johan Uddling
Gina Mills
Published in Science of the Total Environment
Volume 613
Pages 687-692
ISSN 0048-9697
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 687-692
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09...
Keywords Filtration, Grain mass, Grain number, Grain yield, Protein, Starch, modern greek cultivars, winter-wheat, stomatal conductance, air-pollution, spring wheat, grain-yield, metaanalysis, sensitivity, impacts, physiology, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, wler d, 1988, environmental pollution, v53, p135
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Abstract

Tropospheric ozone is known to adversely affect crops and other vegetation. Most studies have focussed on the effects of elevated ozone levels vs. present ambient. We investigated the effect of present ambient surface ozone (O-3) concentrations vs. preindustrial on a range of agronomically important response variables in field-grown wheat, using results from 33 experiments (representing 9 countries, 3 continents, 17 cultivars plus one set of 4 cultivars) having both charcoal filtered (CF) and non-filtered (NF) air treatments. Average filtration efficiency was 62%, reducing the O-3 concentration from 35.6 +/- 10.6 SD ppb in NF to 13.7 +/- 8.8 SD ppb in CF. Average CF concentrations were in the range of levels believed to represent pre-industrial conditions, while NF concentrations were 7% lower than in the ambient air at plant height on the experimental sites. NF had significant (p < 0.05) negative effects compared to CF on grain yield (-8.4%), grain mass (-3.7%), harvest index (-2.4%), total above-ground biomass (-5.4%), starch concentration (-3.0%), starch yield (-10.9%), and protein yield (-6.2%). No significant effect was found for grain number and protein concentration. There was a significant relationship between the effect of filtration on grain yield and the difference in O-3 concentration between NF and CF treatments. The average yield loss per ppb O-3 removed was 0.38% and did not systematically vary with year of experiment (ranging from 1982 to 2010) or with the average O-3 level in the experiments. Although there are many differences among the field experiments included in this meta-analysis (e.g. genotype, degree of O-3 pollution of the site and year, nutrient and soil condition, filtration efficiency), our study clearly shows that there is a consistent and significant effect of present ambient O-3 exposure on a range of important response variables in wheat, the most strongly affected being starch yield. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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