Effects of elevated ozone on CO2 uptake and leaf structure in sugar maple under two light environments

Jaana Bäck, D. W. Vanderklein, M. A. Topa

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25 Scopus citations


The interactive effects of ozone and light on leaf structure, carbon dioxide uptake and short-term carbon allocation of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) seedlings were examined using gas exchange measurements and 14C-macroautoradiographic techniques. Two-year-old sugar maple seedlings were fumigated from budbreak for 5 months with ambient or 3 x ambient ozone in open-top chambers, receiving either 35% (high light) or 15% (low light) of full sunlight. Ozone accelerated leaf senescence, and reduced net photosynthesis, 14CO2 uptake and stomatal conductance, with the effects being most pronounced under low light. The proportion of intercellular space increased in leaves of seedlings grown under elevated ozone and low light, possibly enhancing the susceptibility of mesophyll cells to ozone by increasing the cumulative dose per mesophyll cell. Indeed, damage to spongy mesophyll cells in the elevated ozone x low light treatment was especially frequent. 14C macroautoradioraphy revealed heterogeneous uptake of 14CO2 in well defined areole regions, suggesting patchy stomatal behaviour in all treatments. However, in seedlings grown under elevated ozone and low light, the highest 14CO2 uptake occurred along larger veins, while interveinal regions exhibited little or no uptake. Although visible symptoms of ozone injury were not apparent in these seedlings, the cellular damage, reduced photosynthetic rates and reduced whole-leaf chlorophyll levels corroborate the visual scaling of whole-plant senescence, suggesting that the ozone x low light treatment accelerated senescence or senescence-like injury in sugar maple.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Acer saccharum Marsh
  • Leaf morphology
  • Ozone
  • Photosynthesis
  • Shade adaptation
  • Stomatal patchiness
  • Sugar maple


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