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Environ Pollut. 2001;111(2):199-208.

Stem injection of Populus nigra with EDU to study ozone effects under field conditions.

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University of Antwerp (UIA), Department of Biology, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium.


EDU or ethylenediurea (N-[2-(2-oxo-1-imidazolidinyl)ethyl]-N'-phenylurea) has been used in experiments to assess ozone effects on vegetation under field conditions because it provides protection against oxidative damage. Tests have mainly been conducted on crop plants, but for woody species only few reports have provided evidence that it can be used in long-term experiments. In this study we tested the technique of stem injection of EDU to study the effects of ozone exposure on Populus nigra cv. Wolterson over one growing season. Cuttings of Populus nigra were grown in pots in the field and between mid-July and early September plants were repeatedly injected with EDU solution (5 mg/plant) or with water at 14-day intervals. Significant differences were found between EDU- and water-injected plants: water-treated plants had more foliar injury, more chlorotic leaves, and shedding of leaves started earlier, suggesting EDU was effective in preventing visible ozone injury and acceleration of senescence. Photosynthetic rates, measured for one leaf age, showed no differences but were mostly higher for the EDU-treated plants. At the end of the growing season diameter increment was 16% higher and there was a non-significant trend for above-ground biomass to be increased by 9% for the EDU-treated plants. This experiment has provided evidence that for this clone serious ozone damage occurs at relatively low concentrations and that EDU can provide protection against visible injury, as well as against longer term growth reductions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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