Tropospheric ozone (O3) increased globally in the 20th century, contributes to climate change and can have adverse effects on terrestrial ecosystems. The response of forest vegetation to ozone is modulated by species- and site-specific factors and visible foliar symptoms (VFS) are the only direct evidence of ozone effects on vegetation. VFS have been observed and reproduced under (semi-) controlled conditions and their field assessment has been largely harmonized in Europe. We analyzed ozone concentration and VFS data as measured at (respectively) 118 and 91 intensive monitoring sites of the International Co-Operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) spanning over five European biogeographic regions from 2005 to 2018. Average values for VFS were calculated accounting for the number of species present and their observed frequency. Spatial and temporal variation of ozone concentrations, VFS, and their relationships across Europe were then investigated by applying Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs) and combined GLMMs. Ozone concentrations exceeded 40 ppb on 37.3 % of the sites and were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the Alpine and the Mediterranean regions. Over the 2005–2018 period there was a substantial stagnation of ozone concentrations with a tendency towards decreasing values in the Alpine-Boreal sites and increasing values in the Atlantic sites. Ozone left a “fingerprint” in terms of VFS on 38 % of the observed broadleaved woody species across Europe, with no significant difference among biogeographic regions. Overall, and again with the exception of an increase at the Atlantic sites, the frequency of VFS remained unchanged or has been slightly declining over the investigated period. We found positive relationship between ozone concentrations and VFS across Europe (p < 0.05), while their temporal trends (both insignificant) were not related. The species with the highest frequency of VFS were those classified as sensitive species under controlled/semi-controlled experimental conditions. Frequency of VFS tends to be modulated by vegetation traits such as specific leaf area and leaf thickness (p < 0.10). Our results showed that, although ozone levels suggested a North-to-South gradient of increasing potential risk to vegetation with hot spots in the Alps and in the Mediterranean, VFS observed on the actual species assemblage at the sites modifies this picture. According to frequency of VFS, ozone risk for vegetation may be higher in parts of the Alpine and Continental Europe than in the Mediterranean region

Ferretti, M.; Cailleret, M.; Haeni, M.; Trotsiuk, V.; Apuhtin, V.; Araminiene, V.; Burianek, V.; Cecchini, S.; Dalstein-Richier, L.; Hůnova, I.; Jakovljevi, T.; Kaoukis, K.; Neirynck, J.; Nicolas, M.; Prescher, A.; Novotný, R.; Pavlendova, H.; Potocic, N.; Rupel, M.; Russ, A.; Stakenas, V.; Verstraeten, A.; Vollenweider, P.; Zlindra, D.; Pitar, D.; Calatayud, V.; Gottardini, E.; Schaub, M. (2024). The fingerprint of tropospheric ozone on broadleaved forest vegetation in Europe. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, 158: 111486. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2023.111486 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/83655

The fingerprint of tropospheric ozone on broadleaved forest vegetation in Europe

Elena Gottardini;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Tropospheric ozone (O3) increased globally in the 20th century, contributes to climate change and can have adverse effects on terrestrial ecosystems. The response of forest vegetation to ozone is modulated by species- and site-specific factors and visible foliar symptoms (VFS) are the only direct evidence of ozone effects on vegetation. VFS have been observed and reproduced under (semi-) controlled conditions and their field assessment has been largely harmonized in Europe. We analyzed ozone concentration and VFS data as measured at (respectively) 118 and 91 intensive monitoring sites of the International Co-Operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) spanning over five European biogeographic regions from 2005 to 2018. Average values for VFS were calculated accounting for the number of species present and their observed frequency. Spatial and temporal variation of ozone concentrations, VFS, and their relationships across Europe were then investigated by applying Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs) and combined GLMMs. Ozone concentrations exceeded 40 ppb on 37.3 % of the sites and were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the Alpine and the Mediterranean regions. Over the 2005–2018 period there was a substantial stagnation of ozone concentrations with a tendency towards decreasing values in the Alpine-Boreal sites and increasing values in the Atlantic sites. Ozone left a “fingerprint” in terms of VFS on 38 % of the observed broadleaved woody species across Europe, with no significant difference among biogeographic regions. Overall, and again with the exception of an increase at the Atlantic sites, the frequency of VFS remained unchanged or has been slightly declining over the investigated period. We found positive relationship between ozone concentrations and VFS across Europe (p < 0.05), while their temporal trends (both insignificant) were not related. The species with the highest frequency of VFS were those classified as sensitive species under controlled/semi-controlled experimental conditions. Frequency of VFS tends to be modulated by vegetation traits such as specific leaf area and leaf thickness (p < 0.10). Our results showed that, although ozone levels suggested a North-to-South gradient of increasing potential risk to vegetation with hot spots in the Alps and in the Mediterranean, VFS observed on the actual species assemblage at the sites modifies this picture. According to frequency of VFS, ozone risk for vegetation may be higher in parts of the Alpine and Continental Europe than in the Mediterranean region
Continental scale
Biogeographic regions
GLMM
Leaf traits
Ozone concentrations
Visible foliar symptoms
Settore BIO/03 - BOTANICA AMBIENTALE E APPLICATA
2024
Ferretti, M.; Cailleret, M.; Haeni, M.; Trotsiuk, V.; Apuhtin, V.; Araminiene, V.; Burianek, V.; Cecchini, S.; Dalstein-Richier, L.; Hůnova, I.; Jakovljevi, T.; Kaoukis, K.; Neirynck, J.; Nicolas, M.; Prescher, A.; Novotný, R.; Pavlendova, H.; Potocic, N.; Rupel, M.; Russ, A.; Stakenas, V.; Verstraeten, A.; Vollenweider, P.; Zlindra, D.; Pitar, D.; Calatayud, V.; Gottardini, E.; Schaub, M. (2024). The fingerprint of tropospheric ozone on broadleaved forest vegetation in Europe. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, 158: 111486. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2023.111486 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/83655
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