Comparison of the response of red oak (Quercus rubra) seedlings and mature trees to ozone exposure using simulation modeling

D. A. Weinstein, L. J. Samuelson, M. A. Arthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Field studies have determined that the photosynthetic rates of mature northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) trees are sensitive to ozone exposure whereas those of seedlings are not. We used a model of tree physiology to determine the consequences of these differences in photosynthetic response to carbon allocation and tissue growth in seedlings and mature trees over a 2-year period. In the seedling simulations at twice ambient ozone, only the total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) storage pool was affected. The effects in the simulated mature tree were much greater, with large decreases predicted for TNC, fine root, leaf, stem, branch, and coarse root tissues. The model produced many ozone-induced responses in the mature tree that were similar or consistent with observations made in a field study, but the simulations overestimated the effect of twice ambient ozone on root TNC and growth. The discrepancy between field and simulated results suggests that the field study trees exposed to elevated ozone levels may use carbon at a reduced rate, particularly through reduced respiration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted at the Boyce Thompson Institute in Ithaca, New York, under sponsorship funding from the Tennessee Valley Authority, contract no. TV-8644OV. We wish to acknowledge the cooperation, management, and technical insights of Dr J. Michael Kelly, Dr G.S. Edwards, and Dr N.S. Nicholas. We wish to further acknowledge the assistance of Ron Beloin and Brian Gollands of the Boyce Thompson Institute without whom this effort could not have succeeded. The investigation reported in this paper (#97-09-59) is in connection with a project by the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with approval of the Director.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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