Evidence of widespread ozone-induced visible injury on plants in Beijing, China

Environ Pollut. 2014 Oct;193:296-301. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.06.004. Epub 2014 Jun 29.


Despite the high ozone levels measured in China, and in Beijing in particular, reports of ozone-induced visible injury in vegetation are very scarce. Visible injury was investigated on July and August 2013 in the main parks, forest and agricultural areas of Beijing. Ozone injury was widespread in the area, being observed in 28 different species. Symptoms were more frequent in rural areas and mountains from northern Beijing, downwind from the city, and less frequent in city gardens. Among crops, injury to different types of beans (genera Phaseolus, Canavalia and Vigna) was common, and it was also observed in watermelon, grape vine, and in gourds. Native species such as ailanthus, several pines and ash species were also symptomatic. The black locust, the rose of Sharon and the Japanese morning glory were among the injured ornamental plants. Target species for broader bio-monitoring surveys in temperate China have been identified.

Keywords: Air pollution; Bioindicator plants; Ozone; Visible injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • China
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Ozone / analysis
  • Ozone / toxicity*
  • Plants / anatomy & histology
  • Plants / drug effects*
  • Trees / anatomy & histology
  • Trees / drug effects


  • Air Pollutants
  • Ozone