Deciduous Conifers: High N Deposition and O3 Exposure Effects on Growth and Biomass Allocation in Ponderosa Pine
- Cite this article as:
- Grulke, N. & Balduman, L. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (1999) 116: 235. doi:10.1023/A:1005227520012
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Ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex. Laws) 21 to 60 yr old were used to assess the relative importance of environmental stressors (O3, drought) versus an enhancer (N deposition) on foliar retention, components of aboveground growth, and whole tree biomass allocation. Sites were chosen across a well-described gradient in ozone exposure (40 to 80 ppb per h, 24 h basis, 6 month growing season) and nitrogen deposition (5 to 40 kg ha-1 yr-1) in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles, California. A high level of chlorotic mottle indicated high O3 injury at sites closest to the pollution source, despite potential for the mitigating effects of N deposition. At the least polluted site, foliar biomass was evenly distributed across three of the five needle-age classes retained. At the most polluted site, 95% of the foliar biomass was found in the current year's growth. High N deposition and O3 exposure combined to shift biomass allocation in pine to that of a deciduous tree with one overwintering needle age class. Based on whole tree harvests, root biomass was lowest at sites with the highest pollution exposure, confirming previous chamber exposure and field studies. Aboveground growth responses in the high-pollution sites were opposite to those expected for O3 injury. Needle and lateral branch elongation growth, and measures of wood production increased with increasing proximity to the pollution source. An enhancement of these growth attributes suggested that N deposition dominated the ponderosa pine response despite high O3 exposure.