The assessment of Visible Foliar Symptoms (VFS) is commonly adopted by forest monitoring programs to evaluate ozone impact on vegetation. The occurrence of ozone VFS may differ among individuals of the same species at the same site, and within leaves of the same individual. The aim of this study was to identify site and plant characteristics as well as functional leaf traits associated with the occurrence and severity of VFS in Viburnum lantana (an ozone-sensitive species) and at the scale of an individual site. V. lantana plants growing at one site of the ViburNeT monitoring network (Trentino, North Italy) experiencing high ozone levels were surveyed in relation to 1) sun exposure, 2) shading effect from neighbor vegetation, 3) plant height and 4) presence and severity of VFS. Leaves from three different sections of each plant were subjected to a phenotypic characterization of leaf area, dry weight, specific leaf area (SLA), chlorophyll content (ChlSPAD), percentage of VFS, and adaxial and abaxial trichome density (Tr). We showed that plants at high irradiation levels had significantly lower SLA (p<0.05), higher Tr (p<0.01) and greater ChlSPAD (p<0.01) when compared to shaded and/or west- and north-exposed plants, thus indicating a strong influence of site-specific characteristics on leaf trait plasticity. Similar differences were observed for taller vs. shorter plants and apical vs. basal branches (p<0.05). Ozone-induced VFS at leaf level were associated with lower SLA (p<0.001) and higher Tr in the abaxial leaf surface (p<0.05). Both leaf traits showed significant differences also within the south and east exposed plant category, thus suggesting the increase in leaf thickness and Tr as a potential adaptive strategy under multiple stress conditions. Our results provide evidence of a strong relationship between VFS, leaf traits and site-specific variables, offering new insights for interpreting data on the impact of ozone on vegetation.

Leaf Trait Plasticity and Site-specific Environmental Variability Modulate the Severity of Visible Foliar Ozone Symptoms in Viburnum lantana / Faralli, Michele; Cristofolini, Fabiana; Cristofori, Antonella; Ferretti, Marco; Gottardini, Elena. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 17:7, e0270520(2022), pp. 1-14. [10.1371/journal.pone.0270520]

Leaf Trait Plasticity and Site-specific Environmental Variability Modulate the Severity of Visible Foliar Ozone Symptoms in Viburnum lantana

Faralli, Michele;
2022

Abstract

The assessment of Visible Foliar Symptoms (VFS) is commonly adopted by forest monitoring programs to evaluate ozone impact on vegetation. The occurrence of ozone VFS may differ among individuals of the same species at the same site, and within leaves of the same individual. The aim of this study was to identify site and plant characteristics as well as functional leaf traits associated with the occurrence and severity of VFS in Viburnum lantana (an ozone-sensitive species) and at the scale of an individual site. V. lantana plants growing at one site of the ViburNeT monitoring network (Trentino, North Italy) experiencing high ozone levels were surveyed in relation to 1) sun exposure, 2) shading effect from neighbor vegetation, 3) plant height and 4) presence and severity of VFS. Leaves from three different sections of each plant were subjected to a phenotypic characterization of leaf area, dry weight, specific leaf area (SLA), chlorophyll content (ChlSPAD), percentage of VFS, and adaxial and abaxial trichome density (Tr). We showed that plants at high irradiation levels had significantly lower SLA (p<0.05), higher Tr (p<0.01) and greater ChlSPAD (p<0.01) when compared to shaded and/or west- and north-exposed plants, thus indicating a strong influence of site-specific characteristics on leaf trait plasticity. Similar differences were observed for taller vs. shorter plants and apical vs. basal branches (p<0.05). Ozone-induced VFS at leaf level were associated with lower SLA (p<0.001) and higher Tr in the abaxial leaf surface (p<0.05). Both leaf traits showed significant differences also within the south and east exposed plant category, thus suggesting the increase in leaf thickness and Tr as a potential adaptive strategy under multiple stress conditions. Our results provide evidence of a strong relationship between VFS, leaf traits and site-specific variables, offering new insights for interpreting data on the impact of ozone on vegetation.
7, e0270520
Faralli, Michele; Cristofolini, Fabiana; Cristofori, Antonella; Ferretti, Marco; Gottardini, Elena
Leaf Trait Plasticity and Site-specific Environmental Variability Modulate the Severity of Visible Foliar Ozone Symptoms in Viburnum lantana / Faralli, Michele; Cristofolini, Fabiana; Cristofori, Antonella; Ferretti, Marco; Gottardini, Elena. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 17:7, e0270520(2022), pp. 1-14. [10.1371/journal.pone.0270520]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/354006
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