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Environ Pollut. 1988;52(1):55-65.

Effects of ozone and simulated acid rain on birch seedling growth and formation of ectomycorrhizae.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.


Four-week-old paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) seedlings, inoculated or non-inoculated with the ectomycorrhizal fungus Pisolithus tinctorius (Pers.) Coker & Couch and grown in steamed or non-steamed soil, were exposed to ozone (O(3)) and/or simulated acid rain (SAR). Plants were exposed to O(3) for 7 h per day on 5 days per week for 12 weeks. O(3) concentrations were maintained between 0.06 and 0.08 ppm. SAR was applied 10 min per day on 2 days per week. O(3), SAR, soil regime and mycorrhizal treatment did not significantly affect any of the measured variables. Interactions between O(3) and SAR, SAR and mycorrhizal treatment, soil regime and mycorrhizal treatment and ozone and soil regime had significant effects. Treatment of seedlings with pH 3.5 SAR caused increases in growth which were more apparent in birch exposed to O(3). Mucorrhizal treatment caused increased growth in non-steamed soil, while growth appeared to decrease in steamed soil. Birch seedlings grew much better in steamed soil. The implications of increased growth in steamed soil may demonstrate the importance of looking at the secondary effects of pollutants on soil-borne organisms.


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