Biomonitoring ozone phytotoxicity in eastern Spain
High ozone (O3) levels have been recorded in eastern Spain. A project was developed to identify the areas of elevated O3 and determine if these levels were above critical concentrations for plant damage. Thus, a network of bioindicators was established in two Autonomous Communities of Spain: Catalunya (31.930 km2) and Valencia (23.305 km2) to assess O3 phytotoxicity. Three tobacco cultivars, (Bel-W3, Bel-C and Bel-B) were used during the 1994 growing season in both Regions. In Catalunya the highest O3 phytotoxicity was recorded in coastal areas, while the phytotoxicity decreased as plants were grown further in-land. A lower O3 phytotoxicity was observed in coastal sites of the Valencia Autonomous Community, compared to Catalunya, although the O3 injury was observed downwind from Valencia city in the most resistant cultivar Bel-B. The results in the Valencian Community were difficult to interpret, since plant viruses were widely distributed, not only in indicator plants, but also in commercial crops grown in the area. The analysis of O3 concentrations, meteorological parameters and visible injury at the Catalan sites showed that high relative humidity levels could favour O3 phytotoxicity. Therefore, the interactions between O3 exposure and environmental conditions on plant response should be further studied for the establishment of sound critical levels.
KeywordsOzone Resistant Cultivar High Relative Humidity Coastal Site Humidity Level
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