Community level responses to oxidative stress.
Chappelka, Arthur*,1, 1 Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA
ABSTRACT- Tropospheric ozone is a significant phytotoxic air pollutant in the eastern United States, and often transported long distances to rural areas. Ambient ozone concentrations are particularly high in the southeastern USA, primarily due to high temperatures, abundant precursors and stagnant air masses. In addition, on a global scale ozone has been reported as increasing from 0.5-2% per year. A plant community consists of individuals and the environment interacting to form a dynamic configuration sensitive to biotic and/or abiotic factors. Varying ozone exposures have been reported to cause shifts in the competitive interactions among plants, thereby altering the structure and functionality of selected plant communities. Elevated ozone concentrations have been shown to result in decreased species diversity and species richness, and alterations in plant reproduction and interactions with both insect and mammalian herbivores. In addition, competitive interactions between selected species have been shifted as a result of increased ozone exposure. Pertinent literature and current research results will be discussed as well as implications to ecosystem vitality in response to increasing ozone exposures.
Key words: ozone, plant communities, climate change, ecosystems
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