Improved sapflow methodology reveals considerable night-time ozone uptake by Mediterranean species
- 1University of Rome "Sapienza", Department of Plant Biology, P. le Aldo moro 5, 00152, Rome, Italy
- 2Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Department of Mathematics and Physics, Via Musei 41, 25121 Brescia, BS, Italy
- 3Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Department Forest, Nature and Landscape, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001, Leuven, Belgium
Abstract. Due to the evident tropospheric ozone impact on plant productivity, an accurate ozone risk assessment for the vegetation has become an issue. There is a growing evidence that ozone stomatal uptake may also take place at night and that the night-time uptake may be more damaging than diurnal uptake. Estimation of night-time uptake in the field is complicated because of instrumental difficulties. Eddy covariance technology is not always reliable because of the low turbulence at night. Leaf level porometry is defective at relative humidity above 70% which often takes place at night. Improved sap flow technology allows to estimate also slow flows that usually take place at night and hence may be, at present, the most trustworthy technology to measure night-time transpiration and hence to derive canopy stomatal conductance and ozone uptake at night. Based on micrometeorological data and the sap flow of three Mediterranean woody species, the night-time ozone uptake of these species was evaluated during a summer season as drought increased. Night-time ozone uptake was from 10% to 18% of the total daily uptake when plants were exposed to a weak drought, but increased up to 24% as the drought became more pronounced. The percentage increase is due to a stronger reduction of diurnal stomatal conductance than night-time stomatal conductance.