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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Effects of Ozone and Sulfur Dioxide on Yield of Red Clover and Timothy


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 17 No. 4, p. 580-585
    Received: Aug 27, 1987

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Robert J. Kohut *,
  2. John A. Laurence and
  3. Robert G. Amundson
  1. Boyce Thompson Inst. for Plant Res., Cornell Univ., Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853-1801.



Although red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.) are important crops in the northeast, little is known about their responses to air pollution in the field. A crop of red clover and timothy was exposed to O3 and SO2, both alone and in combination, in open-top chambers to evaluate effects on yield. Ozone treatments were charcoal-filtered air, nonfiltered air, and nonfiltered air to which O3 was added to maintain concentrations 1.5 and 2.0 times ambient. Sulfur dioxide treatments were ambient and three levels of addition that simulated the concentrations and dynamics of exposures near point sources of the pollutant. Yield was based on the total biomass obtained in two harvests each year. Two studies were conducted in consecutive years. Sulfur dioxide had no effect on yield and there were no interactions between the pollutants in either study. In the first year, O3 produced no effects on timothy but reduced the yield of clover and, consequently, the yield of the combined species. Red clover was less prevalent in the stand in the second year and O3 had no detectable impact on the yield of clover or on total yield since the stand was dominated by the O3-resistant timothy. The two studies indicated that effect of O3 on yield was a function of both the concentration of the pollutant and the relative O3-sensitivity and prevalence in the stand of the component species.

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