The effects of tropospheric ozone on net primary productivity and implications for climate change

Elizabeth A. Ainsworth, Craig R. Yendrek, Stephen Sitch, William J. Collins, Lisa D. Emberson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a global air pollutant that causes billions of dollars in lost plant productivity annually. It is an important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, and as a secondary air pollutant, it is present at high concentrations in rural areas far from industrial sources. It also reduces plant productivity by entering leaves through the stomata, generating other reactive oxygen species and causing oxidative stress, which in turn decreases photosynthesis, plant growth, and biomass accumulation. The deposition of O 3 into vegetation through stomata is an important sink for tropospheric O3, but this sink is modified by other aspects of environmental change, including rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, rising temperature, altered precipitation, and nitrogen availability. We review the atmospheric chemistry governing tropospheric O 3 mass balance, the effects of O3 on stomatal conductance and net primary productivity, and implications for agriculture, carbon sequestration, and climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-661
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • crop
  • forest
  • global change
  • photosynthesis
  • stomatal conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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