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Keywords:

  • evapotranspiration;
  • free air concentration enrichment (FACE);
  • surface energy balance;
  • tropospheric ozone;
  • vegetation–climate interactions;
  • water use efficiency (WUE)

Summary

  • Here, we investigated the effects of increasing concentrations of ozone ([O3]) on soybean canopy-scale fluxes of heat and water vapor, as well as water use efficiency (WUE), at the Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment (SoyFACE) facility.
  • Micrometeorological measurements were made to determine the net radiation (Rn), sensible heat flux (H), soil heat flux (G0) and latent heat flux (λET) of a commercial soybean (Glycine max) cultivar (Pioneer 93B15), exposed to a gradient of eight daytime average ozone concentrations ranging from approximately current (c. 40 ppb) to three times current (c. 120 ppb) levels.
  • As [O3] increased, soybean canopy fluxes of λET decreased and H increased, whereas Rn and G0 were not altered significantly. Exposure to increased [O3] also resulted in warmer canopies, especially during the day. The lower λET decreased season total evapotranspiration (ET) by c. 26%. The [O3]-induced relative decline in ET was half that of the relative decline in seed yield, driving a 50% reduction in seasonal WUE.
  • These results suggest that rising [O3] will alter the canopy energy fluxes that drive regional climate and hydrology, and have a negative impact on productivity and WUE, key ecosystem services.