Plant Resistance to Ozone: the Role of Ascorbate

  • Jeremy Barnes
  • Youbin Zheng
  • Tom Lyons


Ground-level concentrations of ozone (O3) have risen rapidly over the past century (≈1.6% per annum in the Northern Hemisphere; Marenco et al. 1994), primarily due to increased emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile hydrocarbons from all manner of domestic and industrial sources (Hough and Derwent 1990). Concentrations are expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future; forecasts suggest that ground-level O3 concentrations will continue to climb at a rate of between 0.3% and 1.0% per annum over the next 50 years (Chameides et al. 1994). As a consequence, present-day concentrations of O3 commonly exceed the accepted threshold of 40 parts per billion (ppb; billion = 109) for damage to the most sensitive elements of natural and managed ecosystems (Fuhrer et al. 1997; Fuhrer and Achermann 1999) and the gas is now recognized to be the most prevalent and damaging air pollutant to which vegetation is exposed in many parts of Central/Southern Europe, North/South America and Asia (Yunus and Iqbal 1996). In many of these regions, there is incontrovertible evidence that O3 levels are high enough to reduce crop yields (Heck et al. 1983; Runeckles and Chevone 1992; Turcsányi et al. 2000a), to cause shifts in the genetic composition of natural and seminatural vegetation (Davison and Barnes 1998; Barnes et al. 1999a) and predispose forest trees to damage by secondary stress factors (Sandermann et al. 1997; Chappelka and Samuelson 1998; Skärby et al. 1998; Matyssek and Innes 1999; Akimoto and Sakugawa 2000).


Stomatal Conductance Ozone Exposure Ecological Genetic Plantago Major Leaf Apoplast 
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Copyright information

© Springer -Verlag Tokyo 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy Barnes
    • 1
  • Youbin Zheng
    • 2
  • Tom Lyons
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Environmental ScienceNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Department of Plant AgricultureUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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