Patterns of ozone uptake were related to physiological, morphological, and phenological characteristics of different-sized black cherry trees (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) at a site in central Pennsylvania. Calculated ozone uptake differed among open-grown seedlings, forest gap saplings, and canopy trees and between leaves in the upper and lower crown of saplings and canopy trees. On an instantaneous basis, seedling leaves had the greatest ozone uptake rates of all tree size classes due to greater stomatal conductance and higher concentrations of ozone in their local environment. A pattern of higher stomatal conductance of seedlings was consistent with higher incident photosynthetically-active radiation, stomatal density, and predawn xylem water potentials for seedlings relative to larger trees. However, seedlings displayed an indeterminate pattern of shoot growth, with the majority of their leaves produced after shoot growth had ceased for canopy and sapling trees. Full leaf expansion occurred by mid-June for sapling and canopy trees. Because many of their leaves were exposed to ozone for only part of the growing season, seedlings had a lower relative exposure over the course of the growing season, and subsequently lower cumulative uptake, of ozone than canopy trees and a level of uptake similar to upper canopy leaves of saplings. Visible injury symptoms were not always correlated with patterns in ozone uptake. Visible symptoms were more apparent on seedling leaves in concurrence with their high instantaneous uptake rates. However, visible injury was more prevalent on leaves in the lower versus upper crown of canopy trees and saplings, even though lower crown leaves had less ozone uptake. Lower crown leaves may be more sensitive to ozone per unit uptake than upper crown leaves because of their morphology. In addition, the lower net carbon uptake of lower crown leaves may limit repair and anti-oxidant defense processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis