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

Elena Paoletti, Alessandra De Marco, Alessandro Anav, Patrizia Gasparini, Enrico Pompei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


A unique database of stand volume growth, estimated as periodic annual volume increment (in m3 ha−1per 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 O3were 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−2POD0, on average) and thus able to potentially affect European beech growth. We hypothesize that the high-frequency signals of soil water and O3got 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8233 - 8239
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this