, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 299–307 | Cite as

Four years of ozone exposure at high or low phosphorus reduced biomass in Norway spruce

  • Susanne OttossonEmail author
  • Göran Wallin
  • Lena Skärby
  • Per-Erik Karlsson
  • Eva-Lena Medin
  • Mats Räntfors
  • Håkan Pleijel
  • Gun Selldén
Original Article


Saplings of one clone of Norway spruce (Picea abies) were planted in pots and exposed to charcoal filtered (CF) air, non-filtered (NF) air or NF air plus extra ozone (NF+; ambient × 1.4) in open-top chambers (OTCs). The lowest and highest ozone concentrations were combined with low phosphorus (LP) supply. Ambient air plots without OTCs, and with and without pots, were also included. A long-term study was conducted with 756 trees (3–7 years old) harvested successively over four growing seasons. Ozone had a negative impact on tree growth, both in the high phosphorus (HP) supply and in the LP treatments. The ozone-induced decrease in biomass of the whole tree (NF+ relative to CF) was approximately 5% after four seasons, irrespective of phosphorus status. The corresponding decrease in biomass caused by LP, relative to HP, was 20% whatever the ozone treatment. LP also caused a shift in the shoot to root ratio, where root growth was favoured at the expense of the shoot. A weak effect of ozone treatment on the shoot to root ratio, favouring shoot growth, was found after three seasons, but was totally surpassed by the opposite effect of LP in the fourth season. The effect of OTCs and pots is also discussed.


Biomass Open-top chambers Ozone Phosphorus Picea abies 



Thanks are due to Patrik Alströmer and the staff at Östads säteri for help with all practical issues at the field site. We would also like to thank Ingvar Andersson, Solbritt Alexandersson, Helena Danielsson, Nils Gustavsson, David Holmgren, Anders Jansson, Catharina Lindberg, Linnea Kjellberg, Katarina Ottosson, Christina Westberg and Hans Wickström for assistance with biomass sampling. We are grateful to Sture Holm, Staffan Nilsson, Karin Norlander and Kerstin Wiklander at the Department of Mathematical Statistics, Göteborg University for advice on the design of the experiment and the statistical interpretation of the results. Cederroth International AB supplied the nutrient solutions. The running and establishment of the Göteborg-Ozone-Spruce project at the Östad field site was supported financially by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (NV), the Swedish Council of Forestry and Agricultural Research (SJFR), the Foundation for the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), to which 18 industries and industrial organisations gave their support, Östads stiftelse and the Nils and Dorthi Troëdsson Research Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Ottosson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Göran Wallin
    • 2
  • Lena Skärby
    • 1
  • Per-Erik Karlsson
    • 3
  • Eva-Lena Medin
    • 1
  • Mats Räntfors
    • 1
  • Håkan Pleijel
    • 2
  • Gun Selldén
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant PhysiologyGöteborg University GöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science and ConservationGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden
  3. 3.Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL)GöteborgSweden

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