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Reduced ozone by air filtration consistently improved grain yield in wheat

Pleijel, Håkan
Environmental pollution 2011 v.159 no.4 pp. 897-902
air, charcoal, filters, filtration, grain yield, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, phytotoxicity, sulfur dioxide, wheat, Asia, Europe, North America
This study considered effects of reduced [O₃] on wheat yield. Open-top chamber charcoal filtered air treatments were compared with non-filtered treatments for field-grown wheat. 30 experiments meeting requirements were found, representing nine countries in North America, Europe and Asia. 26 experiments reported improved yield and 4 experiments reduced yield by filtration, a significant positive effect. Average yield improvement was 9%. Average daytime [O₃] was reduced by filtration from 35 to 13 nmol mol⁻¹. Filtration efficiency was 63% for O₃ and 56% for SO₂. For NOₓ it was observed that NO₂ was reduced and NO increased by filtration. Thus, filters convert NO₂ to NO. Most experiments reported low or very low [SO₂] and [NOₓ]. Thus, O₃ can be concluded to be the main phytotoxic component in the experiments. Elevated [NO₂] was observed in one experiment. The conclusion is that current [O₃] over large parts of the world adversely affect wheat yield.