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Nitrogen mediates above-ground effects of ozone but not below-ground effects in a rhizomatous sedge

By M.L.M. Jones, G. Hodges and G. Mills

Abstract

Ozone and atmospheric nitrogen are co-occurring pollutants with adverse effects on natural grassland vegetation. Plants of the rhizomatous sedge Carex arenaria were exposed to four ozone regimes representing increasing background concentrations (background-peak): 10–30, 35–55, 60–80 and 85–105 ppb ozone at two nitrogen levels: 12 and 100 kg N ha−1 yr−1. Ozone increased the number and proportion of senesced leaves, but not overall leaf number. There was a clear nitrogen × ozone interaction with high nitrogen reducing proportional senescence in each treatment and increasing the ozone dose (AOT40) at which enhanced senescence occurred. Ozone reduced total biomass due to significant effects on root biomass. There were no interactive effects on shoot:root ratio. Rhizome tissue N content was increased by both nitrogen and ozone. Results suggest that nitrogen mediates above-ground impacts of ozone but not impacts on below-ground resource translocation. This may lead to complex interactive effects between the two pollutants on natural vegetation.\ud \u

Topics: Agriculture and Soil Science, Ecology and Environment
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.envpol.2009.08.002
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:6718
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