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INTERACTIONS BETWEEN AIR POLLUTANTS AND WATER STRESS IN DAMAGING PLANTS

Objective

TO PROVIDE INFORMATION NEEDED TO ELUCIDATE THE MECHANISMS OF INTERACTIONS BETWEEN AIR POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITING FACTORS (DROUGHT).

THE SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE OF THIS RESEARCH IS TO EXAMINE POSSIBLE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN AIR POLLUTANTS AND WATER STRESS IN DAMAGING PLANTS. THE RESEARCH IS A COMPONENT PART OF A LARGE CO-ORDINATED STUDY OF THE WAY AIR POLLUTANTS INTERACT WITH TEMPERATURE, WATER STRESS AND INSECT PESTS, WHICH IS BEING CONDUCTED BY FIVE DIFFERENT LABORATORIES IN EUROPE.
THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT WILL BE CONCERNED WITH THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND WATER STRESS DURING AND AFTER EXPOSURE TO DIFFERENT POLLUTANT TREATMENTS IN SOME HERBACEOUS CROPS AND TREES. THE WORK WILL BE CONDUCTED IN BOTH OUT-OF-DOOR HEMISPHERICAL GLASSHOUSES EQUIPPED WITH SOPHISTICATED CONTROLS, AND IN INDOOR WIND TUNNELS WITH THE CAPACITY TO MANIPULATE LIGHT INTENSITY, TEMPERATURE AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY. THE CONCENTRATIONS TO BE USED WILL BE RELEVANT TO THOSE FOUND IN THE FIELD IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF EUROPE, AND ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE ANNUAL CYCLE OF POLLUTION THAT OCCURS IN SOME REGIONS, I E ELEVATED 03 DURING SUMMER, AND SO2 +NOX IN WINTER.
SPECIAL EMPHASIS WILL BE PLACED ON MAKING DETAILED OBSERVATIONS OF THE WATER RELATIONS OF POLLUTED PLANTS USING UP-TO-DATE TECHNOLOGY, FOR EXAMPLE POROMETRY, PRESSURE CHAMBERS, OSMOMETERS AND A MICRO-PRESSURE PROBE. IT IS ASSUMED THAT A VERY THOROUGH PHYSIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PLANT MATERIAL MAY BE NECESSARY TO DETECT SUBTLE CHANGES IN CELL WATER RELATIONS WHICH MAY NEVERTHELESS HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE ABILITY OF PLANTS TO TOLERATE DROUGHT IN SUMMER AND WINTER CONDITIONS. WE HAVE LONG EXPERIENCE OF SUCH STUDIES IN LANCASTER AND HAVE RECENTLY BEGUN TO APPLY SOPHISTICATED METHODS FOR THE STUDY OF THE WATER RELATIONS OF POLLUTED PLANT MATERIAL (MANSFIELD, DAVIES AND WHITMORE, 1986).

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

University of Lancaster
Address
Bailrigg
LA1 4YW Lancaster
United Kingdom