A Site-Specific Analysis of the Implications of a Changing Ozone Profile and Climate for Stomatal Ozone Fluxes in Europe

Abstract

In this study, we used eight sites from across Europe to investigate the implications of a future climate (2 °C warmer and 20% drier) and a changing ozone profile (increased background concentrations and reduced peaks) on stomatal ozone fluxes of three widely occurring plant species. A changing ozone profile with small increases in background ozone concentrations over the course of a growing season could have significant impacts on the annual accumulated stomatal ozone uptake, even if peak concentrations of ozone are reduced. Predicted increases in stomatal ozone uptake showed a strong relationship with latitude and were larger at sites from northern and mid-Europe than those from southern Europe. At the sites from central and northern regions of Europe, including the UK and Sweden, climatic conditions were highly conducive to stomatal ozone uptake by vegetation during the summer months and therefore an increase in daily mean ozone concentration of 3–16% during this time of year (from increased background concentrations, reduced peaks) would have a large impact on stomatal ozone uptake. In contrast, during spring and autumn, the climatic conditions can limit ozone uptake for many species. Although small increases in ozone concentration during these seasons could cause a modest increase in ozone uptake, for those species that are active at low temperatures, a 2 °C increase in temperature would increase stomatal ozone uptake even in the absence of further increases in ozone concentration. Predicted changes in climate could alter ozone uptake even with no change in ozone profile. For some southern regions of Europe, where temperatures are close to or above optimum for stomatal opening, an increase in temperature of 2 °C could limit stomatal ozone uptake by enhancing stomatal closure during the summer months, whereas during the spring, when many plants are actively growing, a small increase in temperature would increase stomatal ozone uptake.

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Acknowledgements

FH and GM would like to thank the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for supporting this project (NEC05574). The contribution by PEK was made possible by the research programme SCAC, funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The contribution of IGF and RA was funded by the Spanish projects AGRISOST-CM (S2013/ABI-2717, Comunidad de Madrid).

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Hayes, F., Mills, G., Alonso, R. et al. A Site-Specific Analysis of the Implications of a Changing Ozone Profile and Climate for Stomatal Ozone Fluxes in Europe. Water Air Soil Pollut 230, 4 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-018-4057-x

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Keywords

  • Stomata
  • Climate change
  • Ozone flux
  • Betula pendula
  • Dactylis glomerata
  • Leontodon hispidus