Impact of four years exposure to different levels of ozone, phosphorus and drought on chlorophyll, mineral nutrients, and stem volume of Norway spruce, Picea abies

Wallin, Göran.; Karlsson, P.Erik.; Selldén, G.; Ottosson, S.; Medin, E-Lena.; Pleijel, Håkan.; Skärby, L.

Physiologia Plantarum 114(2): 192-206


ISSN/ISBN: 0031-9317
PMID: 11903966
DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-3054.2002.1140205.x
Accession: 003804309

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Saplings of one clone of Norway spruce, Picea abies (L.) Karst, were planted in 120 l pots in 1991 and exposed to three levels of ozone, two levels of phosphorus and two levels of water supply in 42 open-top chambers (OTCs), during 1992-1996. The effects of pots and OTCs were also tested. Nutrient concentrations of the needles were not affected by ozone, while the low phosphorus supply (LP) and drought stress (D) treatments had significant effects on several mineral nutrients, e.g. phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, sulphur and boron. Ozone reduced the chlorophyll concentration in the 2- and 3-year-old needles in 1994 and 1995. The highest ozone concentration reduced the stem volumes (-8%), as well as the stem lengths (-5%), of the saplings in 1993 and 1994, after two and three years of exposure. After the fourth growing season this ozone-induced reduction in stem volume disappeared which might be caused by pot limitation. LP supply and D both caused large decreases in the stem volume and length. The needles from LP treatment had as high P concentration as 1.2-1.5 mg g-1, implying a need for increasing the critical value for phosphorus. The OTC enclosure stimulated the stem volume growth significantly compared to saplings growing in ambient plots. This was suggested to be attributed to the slightly higher temperature in the OTCs. The overall result is that ozone in southern Sweden is likely to have negative effects on Norway spruce trees, although much less than other environmental factors, e.g. water and phosphorus. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.