Five-year volume growth of European beech does not respond to ozone pollution in Italy

TitleFive-year volume growth of European beech does not respond to ozone pollution in Italy
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPaoletti, E., De Marco Alessandra, Anav A., Gasparini P., and Pompei E.
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Keywordsair pollutant, Air Pollutants, air temperature, analysis, beech, chemistry, climate, concentration (composition), deciduous tree, drought, drug effect, Environmental Pollution, epidemiology, Fagus, Fagus sylvatica, forest, forest inventory, Forests, growth, Italy, Ozone, Pollution, soil water, solar radiation, tree, Trees, troposphere

A unique database of stand volume growth, estimated as periodic annual volume increment (in m3 ha−1 per year over the period 2001–2005) from 728 European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) sites distributed across Italy, was used to assess the effects of ambient ozone (O3), expressed as annual average (M24), accumulated exposure above a 40 ppb hourly threshold (AOT40), and total stomatal ozone flux (POD0). Growth data were from the National forest inventory of Italy, while climate data and ozone concentrations were computed by the WRF and CHIMERE models, respectively. Results show that the growth increased with increasing solar radiation and air temperature and decreased with increasing number of cold days, while effects of soil water content and O3 were not significant. In contrast, the literature results suggest that European beech is sensitive to both drought and O3. Ozone levels resulted to be very high (48 ppb M24, 51,200 ppb h AOT40, 21.08 mmol m−2 POD0, on average) and thus able to potentially affect European beech growth. We hypothesize that the high-frequency signals of soil water and O3 got lost when averaged over 5 years and recommended finer time-resolution investigations and inclusion of other factors of variability, e.g., thinning, tree age, and size. © 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


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