1 Section of Terrestrial Ecology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Terrestrial Ecology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet4 Terrestrial Ecology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Within the scope of a biomonitoring study conducted in twelve urban agglomerations in eight European countries, the ozone-sensitive bioindicator plant Nicotiana tabacum cv. Bel-W3 was employed in order to assess the occurrence of phytotoxic ozone effects at urban, suburban, rural and traffic-exposed sites. The tobacco plants were exposed to ambient air for biweekly periods at up to 100 biomonitoring sites from 2000 to 2002. Special emphasis was placed upon methodological standardisation of plant cultivation, field exposure and injury assessment. Ozone-induced leaf injury showed a clearly increasing gradient from northern and northwestern Europe to central and southern European locations. The strongest ozone impact occurred at the exposure sites in Lyon and Barcelona, while in Edinburgh, Sheffield, Copenhagen and Düsseldorf only weak to moderate ozone effects were registered. Between-site differences within local networks were relatively small, but seasonal and inter-annual differences were strong due to the variability of meteorological conditions and related ozone concentrations. The 2001 data revealed a significant relationship between foliar injury degree and various descriptors of ozone pollution such as mean value, AOT20 and AOT40. Examining individual sites of the local monitoring networks separately, however, yielded noticeable differences. Some sites showed no association between ozone pollution and ozone-induced effects, whereas others featured almost linear relationships. This is because the actual ozone flux into the leaf, which is modified by various environmental factors, rather than ambient ozone concentration determines the effects on plants. The advantage of sensitive bioindicators like tobacco Bel-W3 is that the impact of the effectively absorbed ozone dose can directly be measured.
Atmospheric Environment, 2006, Vol 40, Issue 38, p. 7437-7448