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Effects of sulfur dioxide and ambient ozone on winter wheat triticum aestivum cultivar yecora rojo and lettuce lactuca sativa cultivar empire



Effects of sulfur dioxide and ambient ozone on winter wheat triticum aestivum cultivar yecora rojo and lettuce lactuca sativa cultivar empire



Journal of Environmental Quality 15(4): 363-369



Winter wheat (T. aestivum L. 'Yecora Rojo') and lettuce (L. sativa L. 'Empire') were exposed in the field to SO2 or ambient O3 to determine the effects of these air pollutants on important winter grown crops. Plants were exposed with tubular air exclusion systems or in open-top field chambers to ambient air, or filtered air plus 0, 0.03, 0.07 or 0.15 .mu.L SO2 L-1. Exposures were continuous from 18 Jan. to 7 May 1984 for wheat and from 18 Jan. to 13 Mar. 1984 for lettuce. Harvests to evaluate early plant growth were made after 2 to 3 weeks of exposure for each crop; final harvests were made at the end of the exposures. Wheat yield was decreased with exposure to 0.15 .mu.L SO2 L-1 in open-top field chambers, but was not affected by SO2 exposure in air exclusion systems. Lettuce yield was decreased with exposure to 0.15 .mu.L SO2 L-1 in air exclusion systems, but was not affected by SO2 exposure in open-top chambers. Neither wheat nor lettuce yield was reduced by ambient O, in either air exclusion systems or open-top chambers. The results from the two types of exposure systems could not be compared statistically due to differences in experimental design and soil topography. However, the differences in plant growth between the two systems were dramatic when compared to outside plots. Wheat and lettuce growth and yield was only slightly greater with air exclusion systems than in outside plots, but much greater in open-top field chambers than in outside plots.

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