Foliage type specific susceptibility to ozone in Picea abies, Pinus cembra and Larix decidua at treeline: A synthesis

Gerhard Wieser*, Karin Hecke, Michael Tausz, Rainer Matyssek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Cumulative ozone uptake (COU, mmolm-2) and O3 flux (FO3, nmolm-2s-1) were related to physiological, morphological and biochemical characteristics of field-grown mature evergreen Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.], Cembran pine [Pinus cembra L.], and deciduous European larch [Larix decidua Mill.] trees at treeline. The threshold COU causing a statistically significant decline in photosynthetic capacity (Amax) ranged between 19.6mmolm-2 in current-year needles of evergreen conifers and 22.0 6mmolm-2 in short-shoot needles of deciduous L. decidua subjected to exposure periods of ≥84 and ≥43 days, respectively. The higher O3 sensitivity of deciduous L. decidua than of evergreen P abies and P. cembra was associated with differences in FO3 and specific leaf area (SLA), both being significantly higher in L. decidua. FO3 was 5.9nmolm-2s-1 in L. decidua and 2.7nmolm-2s-1 in evergreen conifers. Species-dependent differences were also related to detoxification capacity expressed through total surface area based concentrations of reduced ascorbate and α-tocopherol that both increased with SLA. Findings suggest that differences in O3 sensitivity between evergreen and deciduous conifers can be attributed to foliage type specific differences in SLA, the latter determining physiological and biochemical characteristics of the treeline conifers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Conifers
  • Detoxification
  • Morphology
  • Ozone uptake
  • Specific leaf area
  • Treeline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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