Current issue: 53(4)
The effect of meteorological factors, the total sulphur content of the needles, and SO2 concentration in the ambient air on total peroxidase activity of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) needles was investigated in material obtained from Southern Finland. The correlation between temperature and total peroxidase activity was highest during the most active growing period. Linear correlation between relative humidity and total peroxidase activity appears to be low. The correlation between atmospheric SO2 concentration and total peroxidase activity was also low and varied inconsistently. The detected low association between the sulphur dioxide pollutant and the total peroxidase activity was assumed to be related to the sensitivity of peroxidase activity, many eco-physiological factors and to the genetic variation in conifers. It is difficult to separate a response due to this pollutant from environmental and genetic factors in a complex coniferous forest. Using total peroxidase activity as a routine indicator of air pollution seems to be unsuitable because of the large sample size required in order to obtain a reliable measurement of the pollutant’s effect under low pollution levels.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Scanning Electron Microscopy was used to study structural changes in epicuticular vax of Pinus sylvestris L. with time. Changes in the contact angle of water droplets and in cuticular transpiration were also measured. By using material from a polluted and an unpolluted site it was shown that the ageing process occurs faster on polluted air, leading to greater cuticular transpiration and smaller contact angles at polluted sites.
A semi-statistical model is suggested for monitoring injuries of plants for long-time field exposures (months). The model is based on the following assumptions:
1. The concentrations of air pollutants in the atmosphere follow the Johnson SB distribution.
2. The degree of plant injury is proportional to the logarithm of air pollutant dose.
3. No injuries occur below a certain dose level.
4. A dose is defined as the air pollutant concentration multiplied by the duration of exposure raised to an exponent.
Based on the air pollutant frequency distribution a total dose for the exposure period is calculated by integration, and the total dose is related to the observed plant injury by non-linear regression. The model is tested for long-time exposures of sulphur dioxide to transplant lichen in natural environment.
Grasses Agropyron spicatum Pursh, Lolium perenne L. (S23) and 2-year old Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) were exposed to low SO2 concentrations under field conditions for approximately eleven weeks. SO2 was released continuously via manifold delivery systems, and provided treatment mean concentrations of 0.007 (ambient air), 0.042, 0.106 and 0.198 ppm. The concentrations in each treatment were approximately log-normally distributed, with standard geometric deviations ranging from 2.58 to 3.24. In both grass species, 0.198 ppm SO2 caused substantial reduction of total growth. In L. perenne, this was largely the result of impaired root growth, whereas both shoot and root growth of A. spicatum were reduced. 0.106 ppm SO2 had no significant effect on A. spicatum growth, but reduced root growth of L. perenne. Growth of Douglas fir was reduced in each of the tree highest concentrations, with root growth being markedly diminished, particularly on trees which showed chlorotic and necrotic injury. However, in these trees the shoot and total leaf weights tended to increase at the highest SO2 concentrations, suggesting that in these plants injury to leaves stimulated further shoot growth at the expense of root development.