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Title: The use of plants as bioindicators of ozone

Author: Manning, William J.;

Date: 1998

Source: In: Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Arbaugh, Michael J.; Schilling, Susan L., tech. coords. Proceedings of the international symposium on air pollution and climate change effects on forest ecosystems. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-166. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 19-26

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: A variety of vascular plant species exhibit typical foliar injury symptoms when exposed to ambient ozone, making them useful as bioindicators of relative air quality for a particular location or region. They are quite useful in areas where mechanical ozone monitors are not available. Bioindicators are often introduced plant species known as sentinels. They are known to be sensitive to ozone and will respond rapidly if they are given special care to ensure ozone uptake and injury. Sentinels are usually genetically-uniform, rapid growing herbaceous annuals. Their rapid and well-characterized response to ozone exposure has made them quite useful. Bel-W3 tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) is a sentinel plant bioindicator for ozone that is used all over the world. Detector bioindicators are plant species that are found growing naturally in an area and known to be sensitive to ozone only when conditions are appropriate for ozone uptake and plant injury. Detectors are often slow-growing, determinate perennial plants, shrubs, or trees that respond slowly to ozone, with symptoms occurring quite late in the growing season. Populations of detectors are not genetically uniform and only part of a population may show ozone injury symptoms. Black cherry (Prunus serotina L.) is a common detector bioindicator for ozone in North America. A comparison of surveys of sentinel and detector bioindicators in the same area often show different results. From an ecological perspective, visible injury on a detector bioindicator is more significant than visible injury on a sentinel bioindicator. When using plants as bioindicators, careful consideration needs to be given to the nature, requirements, and utility of sentinels and detectors in relation to the relevance and utility of the results obtained.

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Manning, William J. 1998. The use of plants as bioindicators of ozone. In: Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Arbaugh, Michael J.; Schilling, Susan L., tech. coords. Proceedings of the international symposium on air pollution and climate change effects on forest ecosystems. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-166. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 19-26

 


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