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Plant phenology, growth and nutritive quality of Briza maxima: Responses induced by enhanced ozone atmospheric levels and nitrogen enrichment
- J. Sanz, V. Bermejo, R. Muntifering, I. González-Fernández, B.S. Gimeno, S. Elvira, R. Alonso
- Environmental pollution 2011 v.159 no.2 pp. 423-430
- longevity, nitrogen, phenology, Briza maxima, ozone, biomass production, troposphere, lignin, vegetation
- An assessment of the effects of tropospheric ozone (O₃) levels and substrate nitrogen (N) supplementation, singly and in combination, on phenology, growth and nutritive quality of Briza maxima was carried out. Two serial experiments were developed in Open-Top Chambers (OTC) using three O₃ and three N levels. Increased O₃ exposure did not affect the biomass-related parameters, but enhanced senescence, increased fiber foliar content (especially lignin concentration) and reduced plant life span; these effects were related to senescence acceleration induced by the pollutant. Added N increased plant biomass production and improved nutritive quality by decreasing foliar fiber concentration. Interestingly, the effects of N supplementation depended on meteorological conditions and plant physiological activity. N supplementation counteracted the O₃-induced senescence but did not modifiy the effects on nutritive quality. Nutritive quality and phenology should be considered in new definitions of the O₃ limits for the protection of herbaceous vegetation.