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Developing ozone critical levels for multi-species canopies of Mediterranean annual pastures
- Calvete-Sogo, H., González-Fernández, I., García-Gómez, H., Alonso, R., Elvira, S., Sanz, J., Bermejo-Bermejo, V.
- Environmental pollution 2017 v.220 pp. 186-195
- aboveground biomass, annual pastures, canopy, confidence interval, fumigation, gas exchange, models, nitrogen, ozone, phytotoxicity, plant communities, soil, vegetation
- Ozone (O3) critical levels (CLe) are still poorly developed for herbaceous vegetation. They are currently based on single species responses which do not reflect the multi-species nature of semi-natural vegetation communities. Also, the potential effects of other factors like the nitrogen (N) input are not considered in their derivation, making their use uncertain under natural conditions.Exposure- and dose-response relationships were derived from two open-top chamber experiments exposing a mixture of 6 representative annual Mediterranean pasture species growing in natural soil to 4 O3 fumigation levels and 3 N inputs. The Deposition of O3 and Stomatal Exchange model (DO3SE) was modified to account for the multi-species nature of the canopy following a big-leaf approach. This new approach was used for estimating a multi-species phytotoxic O3 dose (PODy-MS). Response relationships were derived based on O3 exposure (AOT40) and flux (PODy-MS) indices.The treatment effects were similar in the two seasons: O3 reduced the aboveground biomass growth and N modulated this response. Gas exchange rates presented a high inter-specific variability and important inter-annual fluctuations as a result of varying growing conditions during the two years. The AOT40-based relationships were not statistically significant except when the highest N input was considered alone. In contrast, PODy-MS relationships were all significant but for the lowest N input level. The influence of the N input on the exposure- and dose-response relationships implies that N can modify the O3 CLe. However, this is an aspect that has not been considered so far in the methodologies for establishing O3 CLe. Averaging across N input levels, a multi-species O3 CLe (CLef-MS) is proposed POD1-MS = 7.9 mmol m⁻², accumulated over 1.5 month with a 95% confidence interval of (5.9, 9.8). Further efforts will be needed for comparing the CLef-MS with current O3 CLef based on single species responses.