Interpreting Spatial Variation In Ozone Symptoms Shown By Cutleaf Cone Flower, Rudbeckia laciniata L.

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Howard S. Neufeld Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Visible injury caused by ozone is recorded every year in native plant species growing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (USA). One of the most sensitive species, cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata L.), shows great variation in symptoms between and within populations but the causes of this variation and its ecological significance are currently unknown. This paper presents data relating to genetic variation, ozone concentrations, stomatal conductance and light (PAR) within populations. The data show that populations differ in genetic diversity, one consisting of only three genets while another was very diverse. In the former population, symptoms varied greatly within a single genet, pointing to a large micro-environmental influence. Measurements of ozone, stomatal conductance and PAR within plant canopies suggest that variation in symptom expression is unlikely to be due to differences in ozone flux and more likely to be due to variation in light. The variation in visible symptoms raises the question of what bioindicators actually indicate, and it suggests that symptoms should be interpreted with great caution until the underlying causes of that variation are fully understood.

Additional Information

Davison, A.W., H.S. Neufeld, A.H. Chappelka, Kirsten Wolff and P.L. Finkelstein. (2003). Interpreting spatial variation in ozone symptoms shown by cutleaf coneflower, Rudbeckia laciniata L. Environmental Pollution 125:61-70. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2003
Ozone, Visible injury, Bioindicator, Coneflower, Rudbeckia laciniata

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