Evaluation of tobacco cultivars as bioindicators and biomonitors of ozone phytotoxical levels in Catalonia

A. Ribas, I. Filella, B. S. Gimeno, J. Peñuelas

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A field study was conducted from May to October 1995 to assess ozone (O3) phytotoxicity in Catalonia (NE Spain) by determining a percentage value of leaf area injured by ozone on three tobacco cultivars, Bel-W3, Bel-C and Bel-B as bioindicators. Colorimetric parameters were also determined in an effort to have an objective assessment of ozone injury. The study was conducted simultaneously on eight sites where ozone levels and several meteorological parameters were continuously monitored. Two sets of plants were used at each site. The first one was composed of six plants of each cultivar which were changed every two weeks while the second one involved two plants of each cultivar which were kept in the plots throughout the whole experimental period. Open Top Chambers were also used to test the response of the three cultivars to ozone under controlled conditions. The ozone levels correlated well with ozone injury on the Bel-W3 cultivar but not as well on the other two cultivars. The ozone levels did not fully account for all the observed injury. The response of tobacco plants to ozone concentrations and therefore its biomonitoring capacity depended also on different environmental conditions linked to stomatal behaviour such as temperature, humidity, wind or altitude. These environmental conditions had some effects on the intensity of Ozone injury. Ozone concentrations accumulated over a threshold of 60 ppb (AOT60) when VPD was below 1 KPa. Correlated well with the ozone injury and best explained the intensity tobacco injury symptoms. For large plants growing throughout the whole period of study, Bel-C was the best indicator cultivar for AOT60 over the 3 days prior to the last ozone injury assessment. The colorimetric parameters were indicators of seasonal changes but they were not good ozone damage indicators. It is concluded that tobacco cultivars were good bioindicators but meteorological and other environmental factors need to be considered in there use as biomonitors.
Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)347-365
RevistaWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 d’oct. 1998


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