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Temporal processes that contribute to nonlinearity in vegetation responses to ozone exposure and dose

Heath, Robert L.; Lefohn, Allen S.; Musselman, Robert C. 2009. Temporal processes that contribute to nonlinearity in vegetation responses to ozone exposure and dose. Atmospheric Environment. 43: 2919-2928.

Ozone interacts with plant tissue through distinct temporal processes. Sequentially, plants are exposed to ambient O3 hat (1) moves through the leaf boundary layer, (2) is taken up into plant tissue primarily through stomata, and (3) undergoes chemical interaction within plant tissue, first by initiating alterations and then as part of plant detoxification and repair. In this paper, we discuss the linkage of the temporal variability of apoplastic ascorbate with the diurnal variability of defense mechanisms in plants and compare this variability with daily maximum O3 concentration and diurnal uptake and entry of O3 into the plant through stomata.We describe the quantitative evidence on temporal variability in concentration and uptake and find that the time incidence for maximumdefense does not necessarily match diurnal patterns for maximum O3 concentration or maximum uptake. We suggest that the observed out-of-phase association of the diurnal patterns for the above three processes produces a nonlinear relationship that results in a greater response from the higher hourly average O3 concentrations than from the lower or mid-level values. The fact that these out-of-phase processes affect the relationship between O3 exposure/dose and vegetation effects ultimately impact the ability of flux-based indices to predict vegetation effects accurately for purposes of standard setting and critical levels. Based on the quantitative aspect of temporal variability identified in this paper, we suggest that the inclusion of a diurnal pattern for detoxification in effective flux-based models would improve the predictive characteristics of the models. While much of the current information has been obtained using high O3 exposures, future research results derived from laboratory biochemical experiments that use short but elevated O3 exposures should be combined with experimental results that use ambient-type exposures over longer periods of time. It is anticipated that improved understanding will come from future research focused on diurnal variability in plant defense mechanisms and their relationship to the diurnal variability in ambient O3 concentration and stomatal conductance. This should result in more reliable O3 exposure standards and critical levels.

Keywords: air quality standards, ascorbate, defense mechanisms, flux, repair, uptake

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Temporal processes that contribute to nonlinearity in vegetation responses to ozone exposure and dose
Electronic Publish Date: December 2, 2009
Last Update:
December 2, 2009

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