Effect of 3 years' free-air exposure to elevated ozone on mature Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) needle epicuticular wax physicochemical characteristics

Percy, K.E.; Manninen, S.; Häberle, K.-H.; Heerdt, C.; Werner, H.; Henderson, G.W.; Matyssek, R.

Environmental Pollution 157(5): 1657-1665


ISSN/ISBN: 1873-6424
PMID: 19188008
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.12.016
Accession: 024528228

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We examined the effect of ozone (O(3)) on Norway spruce (Picea abies) needle epicuticular wax over three seasons at the Kranzberg Ozone Fumigation Experiment. Exposure to 2x ambient O(3) ranged from 64.5 to 74.2 microl O(3) l(-1) h AOT40, and 117.1 to 123.2 nl O(3) l(-1) 4th highest daily maximum 8-h average O(3) concentration. The proportion of current-year needle surface covered by wax tubes, tube aggregates, and plates decreased (P=0.011) under 2x O(3). Epistomatal chambers had increased deposits of amorphous wax. Proportion of secondary alcohols varied due to year (P=0.004) and O(3) treatment (P=0.029). Secondary alcohols were reduced by 9.1% under 2x O(3). Exposure to 2x O(3) increased (P=0.037) proportions of fatty acids by 29%. Opposing trends in secondary alcohols and fatty acids indicate a direct action of O(3) on wax biosynthesis. These results demonstrate O(3)-induced changes in biologically important needle surface characteristics of 50-year-old field-grown trees.