The Response of Plant Reproductive Processes to Acidic Rain and Other Air Pollutants

  • R. M. Cox
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 16)


In vitro and in vivo experiments to investigate the effects of acidic and trace element components of polluted rain on pollen germination and tube growth are described. The sensitivity to pH of pollen in vitro was related to the species’ position in the canopy, whether it was a conifer or deciduous, and to the habitat in which the species normally occurred, i.e., boreal forest or calcareous woodland. Most pollen assayed revealed significant inhibitions of germination and germ tube growth in response to pHs currently recorded for daily rain samples collected in eastern Canada. The in vitro effects of trace elements in combination with pH on pollen function are discussed in relation to cation Stimulation and synergistic interactions. In vivo Inhibition of pollen of evening primrose, Oenothera parviflora, by simulated acid rain is compared with similar inhibition reported in response to SO2 fumigations which have reduced seed set in some species. Given a degree of overlap in gene expression of tolerance in pollen and the plant from which it came, some implications of pollen mortality brought on by air pollution during pollination are discussed.


Pollen Tube Tube Growth Pollen Tube Growth Pollen Germination Royal Jelly 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Cox
    • 1
  1. 1.Canadian Forestry Service — MaritimesFrederictonCanada

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