J Integr Plant Biol ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (4): 337-351.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2008.00805.x

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The Ozone Component of Global Change: Potential Effects on Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Yield, Product Quality and Interactions with Invasive Species

Fitzgerald Booker1*, Russell Muntifering2, Margaret McGrath3, Kent Burkey1, Dennis Decoteau4, Edwin Fiscus1, William Manning5, Sagar Krupa6, Arthur Chappelka7 and David Grantz8   

  1. 1United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Plant Science Research Unit, and Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA
    2Department of Animal Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, USA
    3Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Long Island Horticultural Research Extension Center, Cornell University, Riverhead, New York 11901, USA
    4Department of Horticulture, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
    5Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA
    6Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA
    7School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, USA
    8Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA
  • Received:2008-06-01 Accepted:2008-08-28 Published:2009-02-05
  • About author:*Author for correspondence Tel: +1 919 515 9495; Fax: +1 919 856 4598; E-mail: fitz.booker@ars.usda.gov

Abstract:

The productivity, product quality and competitive ability of important agricultural and horticultural plants in many regions of the world may be adversely affected by current and anticipated concentrations of groundlevel ozone (O3). Exposure to elevated O3 typically results in suppressed photosynthesis, accelerated senescence, decreased growth and lower yields. Various approaches used to evaluate O3 effects generally concur that current yield losses range from 5% to 15% among sensitive plants. There is, however, considerable genetic variability in plant responses to O3. To illustrate this, we show that ambient O3 concentrations in the eastern United States cause substantially different levels of damage to otherwise similar snap bean cultivars. Largely undesirable effects of O3 can also occur in seed and fruit chemistry as well as in forage nutritive value, with consequences for animal production. Ozone may alter herbicide efficacy and foster establishment of some invasive species. We conclude that current and projected levels of O3 in many regions worldwide are toxic to sensitive plants of agricultural and horticultural significance. Plant breeding that incorporates O3 sensitivity into selection strategies will be increasingly necessary to achieve sustainable production with changing atmospheric composition, while reductions in O3 precursor emissions will likely benefit world food production and reduce atmospheric concentrations of an important greenhouse gas.


Booker F, Muntifering R, McGrath M,  Burkey K, Decoteau D, Fiscus E, Krupa S, Chappelka A, Grantz D (2009) J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(4), 337–351.

Key words: climate change, crop, forage, horticultural plant, ozone, product quality, weed, yield.

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