Current ambient concentrations of ozone in Panama modulate the leaf chemistry of the tropical tree Ficus insipida

Schneider, Gerald F., Cheesman, Alexander W., Winter, Klaus, Turner, Benjamin L., Sitch, Stephen, and Kursar, Thomas A. (2017) Current ambient concentrations of ozone in Panama modulate the leaf chemistry of the tropical tree Ficus insipida. Chemosphere, 172. pp. 363-372.

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Tropospheric ozone (O-3) is a major air pollutant and greenhouse gas, affecting carbon dynamics, ecological interactions, and agricultural productivity across continents and biomes. Elevated [O-3] has been documented in tropical evergreen forests, the epicenters of terrestrial primary productivity and plant-consumer interactions. However, the effects of O-3 on vegetation have not previously been studied in these forests. In this study, we quantified ambient O-3 in a region shared by forests and urban/commercial zones in Panama and found levels two to three times greater than in remote tropical sites. We examined the effects of these ambient O-3 levels on the growth and chemistry of seedlings of Fiats insipida, a regionally widespread tree with high stomatal conductance, using open-top chambers supplied with ozone-free or ambient air. We evaluated the differences across treatments in biomass and, using UPLC-MS-MS, leaf secondary metabolites and membrane lipids. Mean [O-3] in ambient air was below the levels that induce chronic stress in temperate broadleaved trees, and biomass did not differ across treatments. However, leaf secondary metabolites - including phenolics and a terpenoid - were significantly downregulated in the ambient air treatment. Membrane lipids were present at lower concentrations in older leaves grown in ambient air, suggesting accelerated senescence. Thus, in a tree species with high O-3 uptake via high stomatal conductance, current ambient [O-3] in Panamanian forests are sufficient to induce chronic effects on leaf chemistry.

Item ID: 50598
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-1298
Keywords: ozone, tropical forest, open-top chamber, secondary metabolite, senescence, stomatal conductance
Funders: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US National Science Foundation (NSF), University of Utah, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Projects and Grants: EPA STAR Fellowship F12F31245, NSF DEB-1135733, NSF DEB-1405637
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 10:20
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410501 Environmental biogeochemistry @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3199 Other biological sciences > 319902 Global change biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 100%
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