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Title Early diagnosis of forest decline. Interim report.CEH Staff publications
Name(s) Cape, J N (Neil)
Institute of Terrestrial Ecology
Physical Details 17pp
Publication 1989
Subjects T07059g5; CEH staff publication;
Files CEH Staff copy
Abstract Potential diagnostic tests for evaluating tree health in relation to pollutant stress have been carried out on experimentally treated trees. Samples of foliage taken from Norway spruce trees growing at Edelmannshof, W. Germany, in open-top chambers, and exposed to filtered or unfiltered air, showed significant treatment effects (of air filtration, or enclosure in a chamber) on leaf wettability, but no detectable effects on leaf pigments. Experiments with Norway spruce seedlings over only one growing season showed no significant effects of ozone or acid mist exposure, either separately or in combination, on leaf wettability or ethy;pne,production. However, after two or more years exposure to ozone (70 nl-1 ) In summer, significant effects of the treatment were observed on leaf wettability, rates of ethylene production and , foliar pigment ratios (violaxanthin:antheraxanthin) in the absence of visible foliar damage. The increase in ethylene production in ozone-treated foliage persisted long after the cessation of fumigation, and this response has been related to a non-enzymic pathway for ethylene production. Pigment ratios were most affected in late summer, These results confirm the observations from the pilot survey in 1986. Leaf wettability, ethylene production and violaxanthin:antheraxanthin ratios were all less for Norway spruce foliage at unpolluted sites in Britain than at sites in Germany exposed to large concentrations of ozone and acid mist. The results from these experiments on seedlings suggest that differences observed in the field were directly related to differences in pollutant exposure. Three new potential diagnostic measurements, of phenolic compounds, membrane lipids and malate concentrations are described. Foliar nutrient data for Scots pine from the 1986 survey are presented, and show pronounced differences across Europe, Sulphur and nitrogen concentrations were greatest at sites exposed to sulphur dioxide and nitrogen-containing pollutants. The sm
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