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Ozone pollution affects flower numbers and timing in a simulated BAP priority calcareous grassland community

By Felicity Hayes, Jennifer Williamson and Gina Mills

Abstract

Mesocosms representing the BAP Priority habitat ‘Calcareous Grassland’ were exposed to eight ozone profiles for twelve-weeks in two consecutive years. Half of the mesocosms received a reduced watering regime during the exposure periods. Numbers and timing of flowering in the second exposure period were related to ozone concentration and phytotoxic ozone dose (accumulated stomatal flux). For Lotus corniculatus, ozone accelerated the timing of the maximum number of flowers. An increase in mean ozone concentration from 30 ppb to 70 ppb corresponded with an advance in the timing of maximum flowering by six days. A significant reduction in flower numbers with increasing ozone was found for Campanula rotundifolia and Scabiosa columbaria and the relationship with ozone was stronger for those that were well-watered than for those with reduced watering. These changes in flowering timing and numbers could have large ecological impacts, affecting plant pollination and the food supply of nectar feeding insects

Topics: Botany, Ecology and Environment, Atmospheric Sciences
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.12.032
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:16276

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