Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 130, Issue 1–4, pp 947–952

Increasing Tropospheric Ozone Level Reduced Birch (Betula Pendula) Dry Mass within a Five Years Period

  • Elina J. Oksanen


Soil-growing randomized mixtures of ten European silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) clones, showing different ozone sensitivity, were exposed to ambient air (control) or 1.4–1.7x ambient (elevated) ozone over five growing seasons using free-air fumigation (FACE) approach. During the last season, the juvenile trees were measured for growth, net assimilation rate and starch content. In elevated-ozone plants, significant effects were observed as 21–28% reduced new leaf development, 44.8% lower dry mass of leaves and 33.8% lower dry mass of roots, as well as 7.6% lower RGR of leaves and 27.8% lower RGR of roots, leading to 16% lower root/shoot ratio. In addition, net assimilation rate and starch content were slightly (8.9% and 14.3%) reduced in ozone-stressed plants. The results indicated cumulative ozone-induced growth reductions over five years. Ozone-stressed trees with declined root growth may become susceptible to other environmental stresses such as water and nutrient deficiency, and lose belowground competitiveness, which may affect tree survival.

Betula birch clone carry-over effects FACE long-term exposure open-field experiment ozone sensitivity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Davidson, S.R., Ashmore, M.R. and Garretty, C.: 1992, Forest Ecology Management 51, 187.Google Scholar
  2. Einig, W., Lauxmann, U., Hauch, B., Hampp, R., Landolt, W., Maurer, S. and Matyssek, R.: 1997, New Phytologist 137, 673.Google Scholar
  3. Fuhrer, J., Skärby, L. and Ashmore, M.: 1997, Environmental Pollution 97, 91.Google Scholar
  4. Günthardt-Goerg, M.S., Matyssek, R., Scheidegger, C. and Keller, T.: 1993, Trees 7, 104.Google Scholar
  5. Keeling, C.D., Whort, T.P., Wahlen, M. and van der Plicht, J.: 1995, Nature 375, 666.Google Scholar
  6. Küppers, M.: 1994, ‘Canopy Gaps: Competitive Light Interception and Economic Space Filling — a Matter of Whole-plant Allocation', in M.M. Caldwell and R.W. Percy (eds), Exploitation of Environmental Heterogeneity by Plants — Ecophysiological Processes Above and Below-Ground, Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 111–144.Google Scholar
  7. Landolt, W., Günthardt-Goerg, M.S., Pfenninger, I., Einig, W., Hampp, R., Maurer, S. and Matyssek, R.: 1997, New Phytologist 137, 389.Google Scholar
  8. Langebartels, C., Ernst, D., Heller, W., Lütz, C., Payer, H.-D. and Sandermann, H.: 1997, ‘Ozone Responses of Trees: Results from Controlled Chamber Exposures at the GSF Phytotron', in H. Sandermann, A.R. Wellburn and R.L. Heath (eds.), Forest Decline and Ozone, a Comparison of Controlled Chamber and Field Experiments, Ecological Studies 127, Springer-Verlag Berlin, pp. 163–200.Google Scholar
  9. Mansfield, T.A.: 1988, ‘Factors Determining Root:Shoot Partioning', in J.N. Cape and P. Mathy (eds.), Scientific Basis of Forest Decline Symptomology, Brussels, COST/CEC, pp. 171–180.Google Scholar
  10. Matyssek, R., Günthardt-Goerg, M.S., Keller, T. and Schneidegger, C.: 1991, Trees 5, 5.Google Scholar
  11. Matyssek, R., Günthardt-Goerg, M.S., Saurer, M.S. and Keller, T.: 1992, Trees 6, 69.Google Scholar
  12. Matyssek, R., Günthardt-Goerg, M.S., Schmutz, P., Saurer, M., Landolt, W. and Bucher, J.B.: 1998, Journal of Sustainable Forestry 6, 3.Google Scholar
  13. Matyssek, R. and Innes, J.L.: 1999, Water, Air and Soil Pollution 116, 199.Google Scholar
  14. Maurer, S., and Matyssek, R.: 1997, Trees 12, 11.Google Scholar
  15. Pääkkönen, E. and Holopainen, T.: 1995, New Phytologist 129, 595.Google Scholar
  16. Pääkkönen, E., Paasisalo, S., Holopainen, T. and Kärenlampi, L.: 1993, New Phytologist 125, 615.Google Scholar
  17. Pääkkönen, E., Holopainen, T. and Kärenlampi, L.: 1997a, Environmental Pollution 95, 37.Google Scholar
  18. Pääkkönen, E., Holopainen, T. and Kärenlampi, L.: 1997b, Environmental Pollution 96, 117.Google Scholar
  19. Pääkkönen, E., Vahala, J., Pohjola, M., Holopainen, T. and Kärenlampi, L.: 1998a, Plant, Cell and Environment 21, 671.Google Scholar
  20. Pääkkönen, E., Günthardt-Goerg, M. and Holopainen, T.: 1998b, Annals of Botany 82, 49.Google Scholar
  21. Pääkkönen, E., Seppänen, S., Holopainen, T., Kärenlampi, S., Kärenlampi, L. and Kangasjärvi, J.: 1998c, New Phytologist 138, 295.Google Scholar
  22. Oksanen, E. and Saleem, A.: 1999, Plant, Cell and Environment 22, 1401.Google Scholar
  23. Skärby, L., Ro-Poulsen, H., Wellburn, F.A.M. and Sheppard, L.J.: 1998, New Phytologist 139, 109.Google Scholar
  24. Wulff, A., Hänninen, O., Tuomainen, A. and Kärenlampi, L.: 1992, Annals of Botanici Fennici 29, 253.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elina J. Oksanen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

Personalised recommendations