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Environ Pollut. 2003;124(2):307-20.

Physiological and foliar injury responses of Prunus serotina, Fraxinus americana, and Acer rubrum seedlings to varying soil moisture and ozone.

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  • 1Graduate Ecology Program, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Sixteen black cherry (Prunus serotina, Ehrh.), 10 white ash (Fraxinus americana, L.) and 10 red maple (Acer rubrum, L.) 1-year old seedlings were planted per plot in 1997 on a former nursery bed within 12 open-top chambers and six open plots. Seedlings were exposed to three different ozone scenarios (ambient air: 100% O3; non-filtered air: 98% ambient O3; charcoal-filtered air: 50% ambient O3) within each of two different water regimes (nine plots irrigated, nine plots non-irrigated) during three growing seasons. During the 1998 and 1999 growing season, leaf gas exchange, plant water relations, and foliar injury were measured. Climatic data,ambient- and chamber-ozone-concentrations were monitored. We found that seedlings grown under irrigated conditions had similar (in 1998) but significantly higher gas exchange rates (in 1999) than seedlings grown within non-irrigated plots among similar ozone exposures. Cherry and ash had similar ozone uptake but cherry developed more ozone-induced injury (< 34% affected leaf area, LAA) than ash (<5% LAA), while maple rarely showed foliar injury, indicating the species differed in ozone sensitivity. Significantly more severe injury on seedlings grown under irrigated conditions than seedlings grown under non-irrigated conditions demonstrated that soil moisture altered seedling responses to ambient ozone exposures.

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