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MONITORING THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION ON VICIA FABA USING OPEN-TOP CHAMBERS.

Objective

THE GENERAL OBJECTIVE IS TO TEST WHETHER THE AMBIANT CONCENTRATION OF AIR POLLUTANTS IN IMPORTANT AGRICULTURE AREAS AFFECT CROP YIELD OR NOT.

THIS RESEARCH PROPOSAL IS SUBMITTED AS A CONSTITUENT PART OF THE EUROPEAN OPEN TOP CHAMBER PROJECT. THE MAIN OBJECTIVE WILL BE TO TEST THE HYPOTHESIS THAT THREE WIDESPREAD PHYTOTOXIC AIR POLLUTANTS (NITROGEN DIOXIDE, SULPHUR DIOXIDE AND OZONE) REDUCE THE YIELD BEANS (VICIA FABA) GROWN IN THE ENGLISH EAST MIDLANDS. AN ASSOCIATED OBJECTIVE WILL BE TO ACHIEVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANY YIELD DIFFERENCES FOUND AND DIFFERENCES IN CANOPY MICROCLIMATE OR CROP PHYSIOLOGY. SUCH AN UNDERSTANDING WILL ENABLE CHAMBER RESULTS TO BE APPLIED MORE ACCURATELY TO FIELD BEANS GROWN AS A COMMERCIAL CROP.

METHODS. FIELD BEANS WILL BE GROWN IN OPEN-TOP CHAMBERS BUILT TO THE RALEIGH DESIGN. IN FOUR OF THE CHAMBERS, AMBIENT AIR WILL BE FILTERED THROUGH ACTIVATED CHARCOAL BEFORE PASSING INTO THE CHAMBER. UNFILTEDRED AIR WILL BE USED IN A FURTHER FOUR IDENTICAL CHAMBERS. RESULTS FROM THESE TWO TREATMENTS WILL BE COMPARED WITH THOSE FROM NEARBY, BUT UNENCLOSED, PLANTS. THE CHAMBERS WILL BE PLACED OVER THE PLANTS ABOUT ONE WEEK AFTER EMERGENCE AND WILL BE OPERATED CONTINUOUSLY FROM THEN UNTIL HARVEST ABOUT 6 MONTHS LATER. NORMAL AGRONOMIC PRACTICES WILL BE FOLLOWED AS CLOSELY AS POSSIBLE, AND YIELDS DETERMINED FROM SEED WEIGHTS AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME.
IN ADDITION TO THE MEASUREMENT OF YIELD ITSELF, MANY OTHER SUPPORTING MEASUREMENTS WILL BE TAKEN DURING THE SEASON TO AID INTERPRETATION OF YIELD VARIATIONS BETWEEN THE THREE TREATMENTS. SOME OF THESE WILL BE TAKEN ROUTINELY EVERY SEASON, OTHERS WILL INVOLVE SHORTER AND MORE DETAILED INVESTIGATIONS OF SPECIFIC ASPECTS.
ROUTINE MEASUREMENTS WILL INCLUDE : PERIODIC DETERMINATION OF PLANT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT - PLANT HEIGHT, BRANCH NUMBER, LEAF AREA, DATES OF RECOGNIZED GROWTH STAGES; CONTINUOUS RECORDING OF CLIMATOLOGICAL VARIABLES SUCH AS TEMPERATURE, RADIATION AND (IN THE AMBIENT AIR ONLY) WINDSPEED AND DIRECTION.
MORE DETAILED STUDIES WILL INCLUDE : PLANT PHYSIOLOGY - STOMATAL CONDUCTANCE, CARBON DIOXIDE FIXATION, LEAF AND STEM STRUCTURE AND ASSIMILATE TRANSLOCATION; CANOPY MICRO-CLIMATE-SPATIAL PROFILES AND TEMPORAL VARIATIONS IN POLLUTANT CONCENTRATIONS AND OTHER PARAMETERS.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

University of Nottingham
Address
University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham
United Kingdom