[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous experiments have demonstrated reductions in the yields of cereal crops due to tropospheric O(3), with losses of up to 25%. However, the only British econometric study on O(3) impacts on winter wheat yields, found that a 10% increase in AOT40 would decrease yields by only 0.23%. An attempt is made here to reconcile these observations by developing AOT40 maps for Great Britain and matching levels with a large number of standardised trial plot wheat yields from many sites over a 13-year period. Panel estimates (repeated measures on the same plots with time) show a 0.54% decrease in yields and it is hypothesised that plant breeders may have inadvertently selected for O(3) tolerance in wheat. Some support for this is provided by fumigations of cultivars of differing introduction dates. A case is made for the use of econometric as well as experimental studies in prediction of air pollution induced crop loss.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vehicle exhaust emissions are a dominant feature of urban environments and are widely believed to have detrimental effects on plants. The effects of diesel exhaust emissions on 12 herbaceous species were studied with respect to growth, flower development, leaf senescence and leaf surface wax characteristics. A diesel generator was used to produce concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) representative of urban conditions, in solardome chambers. Annual mean NOx concentrations ranged from 77 nl l−l to 98 nl l−1, with NO:NO2 ratios of 1.4–2.2, providing a good experimental simulation of polluted roadside environments. Pollutant exposure resulted in species-specific changes in growth and phenology, with a consistent trend for accelerated senescence and delayed flowering. Leaf surface characteristics were also affected; contact angle measurements indicated changes in surface wax structure following pollutant exposure. The study demonstrated clearly the potential for realistic levels of vehicle exhaust pollution to have direct adverse effects on urban vegetation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus (Glomus caledonium) on accumulation and metabolism of atrazine in maize grown in soil contaminated with different concentrations of atrazine were investigated in a series of pot experiments. Roots of mycorrhizal plants accumulated more atrazine than non-mycorrhizal roots. In contrast, atrazine accumulation in shoot decreased in mycorrhizal compared with non-mycorrhizal plants. No atrazine derivatives were detected in the soil, either with or without mycorrhizal colonization. However, atrazine metabolites, deethylatrazine (DEA) and deisopropylatrazine (DIA), were detected in plant roots and the AM colonization enhanced the metabolism. After plant harvest atrazine concentrations decreased markedly in the soils compared to the initial concentrations. The decreases were the most in rhizosphere soil and then near-rhizosphere soil and the least in bulk soil. Mycorrhizal treatment enhanced atrazine dissipation in the near-rhizosphere and bulk soils irrespective of atrazine application rates.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen is responsible for widespread changes in the structure and function of sensitive seminatural ecosystems. The proposed reduction in emissions of nitrogenous pollutants in Europe under the Gothenburg Protocol raises the question of whether affected ecosystems have the potential to recover to their previous condition and, if so, over what timescale. Since 1998, we have monitored the response of a lowland heathland in southern England following the cessation of a long-term nitrogen addition experiment, and subsequent management, assessing changes in vegetation growth and chemistry, soil chemistry and the soil microbial community. Persistent effects of earlier nutrient loading on Calluna growth and phenology, and on the abundance of lichens, were apparent up to 8 years after nitrogen additions ceased, indicating the potential for long-term effects of modest nutrient loading (up to 15.4 kg N ha−1 yr−1, over 7 years) on heathland ecosystems. The size and activity of the soil microbial community was elevated in former N-treated plots, 6–8 years after additions ceased, suggesting a prolonged effect on the rate of nutrient cycling. Although habitat management in 1998 reduced nitrogen stores in plant biomass, effects on belowground nitrogen stores were small. Although some parameters (e.g. soil pH) recover pretreatment levels relatively rapidly, others (e.g. vegetation cover and microbial activity) respond much more slowly, indicating that the ecological effects of even small increases in nitrogen deposition will persist for many years after deposition inputs are reduced. Indeed, calculations suggest that the additional soil nitrogen storage associated with 7 years of experimental nitrogen inputs could sustain the observed effects on plant growth and phenology for several decades. Carry over effects on plant phenology and sensitivity to drought suggest that the persistence of vegetation responses to nitrogen deposition should be integrated into long-term assessments of the impact of global climate change on sensitive ecosystems.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published following peer-review in Advances in transport, published by and copyright WIT Press.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The response to ozone (O3) of a range of Chinese leafy vegetables was investigated with respect to both inter- and intra-specific differences in sensitivity. In the interspecific experiment local Chinese cultivars of pak choi, rape, leaf mustard, leaf lettuce and coriander were fumigated with 90 ppb O3 for 9 h daily for 22–30 days. A similar fumigation was carried out using four different cultivars of pak choi. Sequential measurements were made of leaf injury, photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance and chlorophyll fluorescence, together with dry weights at a final harvest. O3 injury appeared as white or yellow blemishes on the leaf surface of all species. The first signs of injury were seen following only 3-days’ O3 exposure (pak choi); the extent of injured leaf area increased over time for all species and cultivars, with 44.6% of the leaf area visibly injured for leaf mustard, the species with the greatest extent of injury, following 30-days’ exposure. Significant reductions in photosynthetic rate (22.7–40.7%) and stomatal conductance (19.1–33.1%) were found for all species and cultivars following O3 exposure. Plant productivity was also reduced in O3 compared to filtered air, with significant yield reductions for all species (11.1–50.8% above-ground dry weight) as well as for all cultivars of pak choi (15.8–28.1% above-ground dry weight). The mechanisms for observed impacts are discussed, together with the implications for current and future production of vegetables in the southern China province of Guangdong.
Water Air and Soil Pollution 216(1-4). · 1.75 Impact Factor