Tropospheric ozone pollution reduces the yield of African crops

Hayes, Felicity ORCID:; Sharps, Katrina; Harmens, Harry; Roberts, Ieuan ORCID:; Mills, Gina. 2020 Tropospheric ozone pollution reduces the yield of African crops. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, 206 (2). 214-228.

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Northern, Southern and Equatorial Africa have been identified as among the regions most at risk from very high ozone concentrations. Whereas we know that many crop cultivars from Europe, north America and Asia are sensitive to ozone, almost nothing is known about the sensitivity of staple food crops in Africa to the pollutant. In this study cultivars of the African staple food crops, Triticum aestivum (wheat), Eleusine coracana (finger millet), Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet) and Phaseolus vulgaris (bean) were exposed to an episodic ozone regime in solardomes in order to assess whether African crops are sensitive to ozone pollution. Extensive visible leaf injury due to ozone was shown for many cultivars, indicating high sensitivity to ozone. Reductions in total yield and 1,000‐grain weight were found for T. aestivum and P. vulgaris, whereas there was no effect on yield for E. coracana and P. glaucum. There were differences in sensitivity to ozone for different cultivars of an individual crop, indicating that there could be possibilities for either cultivar selection or selective crop breeding to reduce sensitivity of these crops to ozone.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0931-2250
Additional Keywords: 1,000‐grain weight, bean, millet, photosynthesis, visible leaf injury, wheat
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 07 Feb 2020 11:32 +0 (UTC)

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