Journal Article

Physiological and morphological responses of olive plants to ozone exposure during a growing season

Antonio Minnocci, Alberto Panicucci, Luca Sebastiani, Giacomo Lorenzini and Claudio Vitagliano

in Tree Physiology

Volume 19, issue 6, pages 391-397
Published in print May 1999 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online May 1999 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Physiological and morphological responses of olive plants to ozone exposure during a growing season

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We studied physiological (gas exchange and stomatal aperture) and morphological (individual leaf area and stomatal density) responses in leaves of five-year-old olive plants (Olea europaea L. cvs. Frantoio and Moraiolo) exposed to filtered air containing < 3 ppb O3 or 100 ppb O3 for 5 h day−1 for 120 days in fumigation chambers. After 100 days of treatment, leaf drop and development of necrotic spots were observed in O3-fumigated plants of Moraiolo but not of Frantoio.

Significant reductions in photosynthetic activity (57%) and stomatal conductance (69%) were detected in O3-fumigated plants of Frantoio compared with control plants. In O3-fumigated plants of Moraiolo, the decrease in photosynthetic activity (17%) was not statistically significant, but a significant reduction in stomatal conductance (40%) was observed. In both cultivars, leaves that developed after exposure to O3 showed decreased stomatal aperture (63.6 and 54.8% with respect to the Frantoio and Moraiolo controls, respectively) and one-sided leaf area, and increased stomatal density compared with control leaves. Actual transpiring stomatal surface decreased substantially in both Frantoio (59.8%) and Moraiolo (56.3%) in response to O3 treatment. Relative transpiring stomatal surface (RTSS) in Frantoio decreased from 0.54 (control) to 0.27% (O3 treated) of total leaf surface. The corresponding values for Moraiolo were 0.79 and 0.42%. However, because the RTSS of Moraiolo leaves in the O3 treatment was 0.42 versus 0.27% in Frantoio, the potential uptake of O3 was higher for Moraiolo plants than for Frantoio plants. The large O3-induced reduction in transpiring stomatal surface in both cultivars could have significant effects on olive productivity in the Mediterranean area, where high O3 concentrations persist for long periods during the year.

Keywords: gas exchange; leaf morphology; LTSEM; Olea europaea; stomata; stomatal aperture; stomatal density

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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