Plant-Mediated Ecosystem Effects of Tropospheric Ozone

  • Hans J. WeigelEmail author
  • Elke Bergmann
  • Jürgen Bender
Part of the Progress in Botany book series (BOTANY, volume 76)


Tropospheric ozone (O3) is considered as the most significant phytotoxic pollutant in the atmosphere and is already responsible for widespread effects on crops, trees and native plant species. Globally, there is evidence that the background O3 concentrations are further increasing. Most research has been conducted on plant and tree species of commercial value, but very little is known about the impacts of O3 on the scale of forest-, agro- or grassland ecosystems. Exposure to elevated O3 causes oxidative stress, which results in reduced photosynthesis, visible injury, decreased growth and productivity. We present examples showing that impacts of O3 on vegetation may lead to long-term effects on ecosystem structure and function. Recent experiments have shown that O3 can cause a shift in plant species composition and can indirectly affect soil processes. Ozone has also been shown to affect water cycling through its effect on stomata and can alter overall ecosystem productivity.


Vapour Pressure Deficit Grassland Community Visible Injury Visible Foliar Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partly supported by the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt, FKZ: 3711 63 235).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans J. Weigel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elke Bergmann
    • 1
  • Jürgen Bender
    • 1
  1. 1.Thünen Institute of BiodiversityBraunschweigGermany

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