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Impacts of ozone on the growth and yield of field-grown winter oilseed rape

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Ollerenshaw, Dr Thomas Lyons, Emeritus Professor Jerry Barnes


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Five cultivars of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp. oleifera var. biennis L.) were screened for their relative sensitivity to ozone (O3) by exposing seedlings to charcoal-PurafilĀ® filtered air (CFA) or CFA plus 75 nmol mol-1 O3 (6.5 h day-1, 16 days) in controlled environment chambers, and effects on relative growth rate (R) determined. Based on this preliminary screening under standardised conditions, the most sensitive cultivar ('Eurol')-exhibiting a 10% reduction in R-was selected for field studies. Seed was sown in mid-August in eight field plots. During August and September, four of these plots were exposed to elevated O3 concentrations on 17 days for 6 h day-1 (mean daily O3 concentration was 30 and 77 nmol mol-1 in plots exposed to ambient air (AA) and AA+O3, respectively). After overwintering, the same plots were exposed to elevated O3 concentrations on 32 days for 7 h day-1 between May and June (mean daily O3 concentration was 31 and 80 nmol mol-1 in plots exposed to AA and AA+O3, respectively). Plants harvested in September revealed that exposure to AA+O3 resulted in an 8% decrease in plant DW, and reduced root growth relative to that of the shoot. Assessment of yield characteristics, determined following pod-ripening, revealed that plants exposed to AA+O3 produced fewer flowering branches (-38%). However, the individual pods borne on these branches were heavier and contained more seed. As a consequence of these compensatory responses, exposure to AA+O3 resulted in a smaller (-14%) decline in seed yield (tonne ha-1) than would be predicted from the O3-induced reduction in the number of flowering branches. Seed quality, in terms of crude protein and oil content, was reduced by elevated O3. Findings are discussed in relation to the potential impacts of ambient levels of O3 on winter oilseed rape production in the UK. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barnes JD; Lyons T; Ollerenshaw JH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Pollution

Year: 1999

Volume: 104

Issue: 1

Pages: 53-59

Print publication date: 04/08/1998

ISSN (print): 0269-7491

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6424

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0269-7491(98)00155-9


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