Principal Component Analysis of Chlorophyll Content in Tobacco, Bean and Petunia Plants Exposed to Different Tropospheric Ozone Concentrations

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Abstract

Three plant species were assessed in this study - ozone-sensitive and -resistant tobacco, ozone-sensitive petunia and bean. Plants were exposed to ambient air conditions for several weeks in two sites differing in tropospheric ozone concentrations in the growing season of 2009. Every week chlorophyll contents were analysed. Cumulative ozone effects on the chlorophyll content in relation to other meteorological parameters were evaluated using principal component analysis, while the relation between certain days of measurements of the plants were analysed using multivariate analysis of variance. Results revealed variability between plant species response. However, some similarities were noted. Positive relations of all chlorophyll forms to cumulative ozone concentration (AOT 40) were found for all the plant species that were examined. The chlorophyll b/a ratio revealed an opposite position to ozone concentration only in the ozone-resistant tobacco cultivar. In all the plant species the highest average chlorophyll content was noted after the 7th day of the experiment. Afterwards, the plants usually revealed various responses. Ozone-sensitive tobacco revealed decrease of chlorophyll content, and after few weeks of decline again an increase was observed. Probably, due to the accommodation for the stress factor. While during first three weeks relatively high levels of chlorophyll contents were noted in ozone-resistant tobacco. Petunia revealed a slow decrease of chlorophyll content and the lowest values at the end of the experiment. A comparison between the plant species revealed the highest level of chlorophyll contents in ozone-resistant tobacco.

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