An analysis of ozone damage to historical maize and soybean yields in the United States

Justin M. McGrath, Amy M. Betzelberger, Shaowen Wang, Eric Shook, Xin Guang Zhu, Stephen P. Long, Elizabeth A. Ainsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Numerous controlled experiments find that elevated ground-level ozone concentrations ([O3]) damage crops and reduce yield. There have been no estimates of the actual yield losses in the field in the United States from [O3], even though such estimates would be valuable for projections of future food production and for cost-benefit analyses of reducing ground-level [O3]. Regression analysis of historical yield, climate, and [O3] data for the United States were used to determine the loss of production due to O3 formaize (Zeamays) and soybean (Glycine max) from 1980 to 2011, showing that over that period production of rain-fed fields of soybean and maize were reduced by roughly 5%and 10%, respectively, costing approximately $9 billion annually. Maize, thought to be inherently resistant to O3, was at least as sensitive as soybean to O3 damage. Overcoming this yield loss with improved emission controls or more tolerant germplasm could substantially increase world food and feed supply at a time when a global yield jump is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14390-14395
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number46
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 17 2015

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Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Air pollution
  • Maize
  • Ozone
  • Soybean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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