An open‐air system for exposing forest‐canopy branches to ozone pollution

M. G. TJOELKER, J. C. VOLIN, Jacek Oleksyn, Peter B Reich

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8 Scopus citations


We developed a chamberless system to expose branches to elevated concentrations of ozone with little alteration of micro‐meteorological conditions. In a 35‐year‐old stand of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), scaffolding and a platform (14 m in height) provided access to 10 branches and ten paired controls within the canopy. Ozone was delivered to the canopy through a manifold and an array of loops (38 cm in diameter) of teflon tubing individually fitted to each branch. Ozone‐enriched air was discharged through numerous small holes in each loop positioned beneath the exposed foliage. A sampling system controlled by a microcomputer monitored ozone concentrations for each loop by means of composite air samples from 12 leaves, drawn through small teflon tubes (1.65 mm diameter) attached to the petioles. On average, coefficients of variation for ozone concentrations for the sample points within each branch loop were less than 50%. Between 0900 and 1700 h for 68 d of exposure, the mean hourly ozone concentrations among the branches averaged 95nmol mol−1 (±13SD), about twice the ambient mean. Frequency distributions of mean hourly concentrations during exposure were unimodal and approximately log‐normal, comparable to ambient ozone concentrations. The open‐air loop system enables exposure of branches to gaseous pollutants under relatively natural conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • branch exposure
  • free‐air method
  • fumigation system
  • sugar maple (Acer saccharum)


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