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PARTICIPATION IN THE EUROPEAN OPEN-TOP CHAMBERS PROJECT:EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION; PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL MODIFICATIONS.

Objective

THE GENERAL OBJECTIVE IS TO TEST WHETHER THE AMBIENT CONCENTRATIONS OF ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTANTS IN IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL AREAS AFFECT CROPS YIELD OR NOT.

THE PARTICULAR OBJECTIVE OF THE PRESENT PROPOSAL WILL BE TO FIND OUT BY WHICH MECHANISMS THE AIR POLLUTANTS SO2, NO2 AND O3 ARE AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PLANTS AND TO WHAT EXTEND EARLY INDICATORS FOR POLLUTION STRESS CAN BE DERIVED FROM THE KNOWLEDGE OF THESE MECHANISMS. TO ACHIEVE THIS AIM OPEN-TOP CHAMBERS WILL BE USED AS EXPOSURE SYSTEMS AND TWO MAIN EXPERIMENTAL APPROACHES WILL BE CHOSEN.
1. USING 24 OPEN-TOP CHAMBERS WITH FILTERED AIR POTTED AGRICULTURAL PLANTS WILL BE FUMIGATED WITH LOW CONCENTRATIONS OF SO2, NO2 AND O3 EITHER SINGLY OR IN COMBINATION (I.E. SO2 + NO2; SO2 + O3; NO2 + O3; SO2 + NO2 + O3) THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE GROWING SEASON.
2. THE EFFECT OF AIR POLLUTANTS ON RELEVANT SPECIES OF A PERMANENT GRASSLAND SITE WILL BE EVALUATED BY PLACING 4 OPEN-TOP CHAMBERS WITH FILTERED AND 4 WITH NON-FILTERED AIR OVER SELECTED AREAS OF A GRASSLAND SITE NEAR BRAUNSCHWEIG/FRG. COMPARISONS WILL BE MADE BETWEEN PLANT SPECIES GROWING IN THE FILTERED AND NON-FILTERED ATMOSPHERE AND PLANT SPECIES GROWING IN OPEN FIELD PLOTS. THIS SHOULD BE DONE AT LEAST OVER THREE GROWING SEASONS. BOTH EXPERIMENTAL UNITS WILL THOROUGHLY BE CONTROLLED FOR THEIR POLLUTION LEVELS (SO2, NO2, O3) AND CLIMATIC CONDITIONS (WIND SPEED, AIR TEMPERATURE, RELATIVE HUMIDITY, PHOTOSYNTHETIC ACTIVE RADIATION) INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE OPEN-TOP CHAMBERS. AT THE GRASSLAND SITE ADDITIONAL AIR POLLUTION PARAMETERS WILL BE MEASURED.
RELATED TO THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PROPOSAL THE BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE POLLUTION EFFECTS WILL MAINLY BE CARRIED OUT BY MEASURING THE FOLLOWING PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS OF PLANTS FROM BOTH EXPERIMENTAL UNITS :
CONTENT OF : NITRATE, NITRITE, SULPHATE, SULPHITE, CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM, POTASSIUM
ACTIVITIES OF ENZYMES : GLUTAMATE DEHYDROGENASE, GLUTAMINE SYNTHETASE, GLUTAMATE SYNTHASE, NITRATE REDUCTASE, PEROXIDASE, SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE
WATER RELATIONS : CONTENT OF PROLINE, TRANSPIRATION, OSMOTIC POTENTIAL, CONTENT OF ASORBATE, CHLOROPHYLL CONTENT, BUFFERING CAPACITY, CONTENT OF SOLUBLE PROTEIN.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

FEDERAL RESEARCH CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURE
Address
Bundesallee 50
38116 Braunschweig
Germany