A multi-sites analysis on the ozone effects on Gross Primary Production of European forests

C. Proietti, A. Anav, A. De Marco, P. Sicard, M. Vitale

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Ozone (O3) is both a greenhouse gas and a secondary air pollutant causing adverse impacts on forests ecosystems at different scales, from cellular to ecosystem level. Specifically, the phytotoxic nature of O3can impair CO2assimilation that, in turn affects forest productivity. This study aims to evaluate the effects of tropospheric O3on Gross Primary Production (GPP) at 37 European forest sites during the time period 2000-2010. Due to the lack of carbon assimilation data at O3monitoring stations (and vice-versa) this study makes a first attempt to combine high resolution MODIS Gross Primary Production (GPP) estimates and O3measurement data. Partial Correlations, Anomalies Analysis and the Random Forests Analysis (RFA) were used to quantify the effects of tropospheric O3concentration and its uptake on GPP and to evaluate the most important factors affecting inter-annual GPP changes. Our results showed, along a North-West/South-East European transect, a negative impact of O3on GPP ranging from 0.4% to 30%, although a key role of meteorological parameters respect to pollutant variables in affecting GPP was found. In particular, meteorological parameters, namely air temperature (T), soil water content (SWC) and relative humidity (RH) are the most important predictors at 81% of test sites. Moreover, it is interesting to highlight a key role of SWC in the Mediterranean areas (Spanish, Italian and French test sites) confirming that, soil moisture and soil water availability affect vegetation growth and photosynthesis especially in arid or semi-arid ecosystems such as the Mediterranean climate regions.Considering the pivotal role of GPP in the global carbon balance and the O3ability to reduce primary productivity of the forests, this study can help in assessing the O3impacts on ecosystem services, including wood production and carbon sequestration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 11
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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