The use of open top chambers to study the effects of air pollutants in particular sulfur di oxide on the growth of rye grass lolium perenne cultivar s 23 2. the long term effect of filtering polluted urban air or adding sulfur di oxide to rural air

Colvill, K.E.; Bell, R.M.; Roberts, T.M.; Bradshaw, A.D.

Environmental Pollution Series A Ecological and Biological 31(1): 35-56


Accession: 006788120

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Two long-term (10-mo.) investigations were conducted during consecutive years (1978-1979 and 1979-1980) to determine the effect on the growth of ryegrass, L. perenne L., cv. S23, of both filtering polluted urban air and adding SO2 to clean rural air. Four open-top chambers and 2 unchambered plots were used at each of 2 sites in northwest England: St. Helens, Lancashire, a polluted urban site where ambient air was charcoal filtered in 2 of the chambers, and Ness, Cheshire, a relatively unpolluted rural site where SO2 was added to the ambient air in 2 of the chambers. There were no significant differences between the yield of grasses grown in unfiltered (.apprx. 90 .mu.g SO2 m-3) or filtered (.apprx. 35 .mu.g SO2 m-3) air at St. Helens. At Ness, there was a significant 12% reduction in the overall shoot yield of grasses grown in the presence of additional SO2 (annual mean .apprx. 120 .mu.g m-3) compared with those grown in ambient air (annual mean .apprx. 38 .mu.g m-3) in 1978-1979, but in 1979-1980 only a 6% depression (P .ltoreq. 0.05) in the shoot yield of the grasses grown in 165 .mu.g SO2 m-3 compared with those grown in 35 .mu.g m-3 was recorded. Effects of additional SO2 occurred mainly in the winter and early spring months, when SO2 levels were 135 and 220 .mu.g m-3, respectively, in the 2 experiments. Summer concentrations of < 100 .mu.g SO2 m-2 produced no yield reductions during the most rapid growth period. The results are discussed in relation to interactions between environmental factors and SO2 on shoot and root growth.