Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: an overview

Environ Pollut. 2007 Apr;146(3):678-91. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2006.06.010. Epub 2006 Aug 10.


This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity
  • Climate
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Europe
  • Fumigation / methods
  • Genotype
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / pharmacokinetics
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / toxicity*
  • Ozone / pharmacokinetics
  • Ozone / toxicity*
  • Plant Leaves / drug effects
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Poaceae / drug effects*
  • Poaceae / growth & development
  • Poaceae / metabolism
  • Risk Assessment / methods


  • Oxidants, Photochemical
  • Ozone