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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IDENTIFYING AND MANIPULATING DETERMINANTS OF PHOTOSYNTHATE PRODUCTION AND PARTITIONING

Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit

Title: The effects of tropospheric ozone on net primary production and implications for climate change

Authors
item Ainsworth, Elizabeth
item Yendrek, Craig
item Sitch, S -
item Collins, W -
item Emberson, L -

Submitted to: Annual Reviews of Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 16, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Ainsworth, E.A., Yendrek, C.R., Sitch, S., Collins, W.J., Emberson, L.D. 2012. The effects of tropospheric ozone on net primary production and implications for climate change. Annual Reviews of Plant Biology. 63:637-661.

Interpretive Summary: Ground level ozone is a damaging air pollutant that causes billions of dollars in damage to crops and forests each year. It is also a greenhouse gas, and is estimated to be responsible for 5 – 16% of the global temperature change since pre-industrial times. Ozone harms plants by entering through the stomata, causing oxidatives damage and decreasing potential photosynthesis and plant growth. This paper discusses the atmospheric chemistry governing tropospheric ozone mass balance, the effects of ozone on stomatal conductance and net primary productivity, and the implications for agriculture, carbon sequestration and climate change. Regulation of ground-level ozone and implications for policy are also discussed.

Technical Abstract: Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a global air pollutant that causes billions of dollars in lost plant productivity annually. It is an important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, and as a secondary air pollutant, can persist at high concentrations in rural areas far from industrial sources. Ozone reduces plant productivity by entering leaves through the stomata, generating other reactive oxygen species and causing oxidative stress, which in turn decreases photosynthesis, plant growth and biomass accumulation. The deposition of O3 into vegetation through stomata is an important sink for tropospheric O3, but this sink is modified by other aspects of environmental change, including rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, rising temperature, altered precipitation and N availability. We review the atmospheric chemistry governing tropospheric O3 mass balance, the effects of O3 on stomatal conductance and net primary productivity, and implications for agriculture, carbon sequestration and climate change.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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