Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Coupled model identifies effect of ozone stress on vegetative growth


  • Colin Schultz


An intricate feedback system ties together the activity of vegetation and tropospheric ozone. Ground level ozone, drawn from the atmosphere through dry deposition, stresses plants, inhibiting their growth. Plants, in turn, release biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that can either enhance or inhibit the deposition of ozone depending on the availability of another class of chemicals, nitrous oxides. Adding to important vegetative processes such as photosynthesis or evapotranspiration, biogenic aerosols can also increase or decrease ozone formation by modulating heat waves. Therefore, understanding the bidirectional interaction between ozone and vegetative growth is important for accurately representing the climate.