Ozone pollution continues to be a serious issue for terrestrial ecosystems and plant health. ARCHES-Conseils , in partnership with the CNR and the Tuscany region, organized an international conference from 21 to 25 May 2018 at the Auditorium Sant'Apollonia in Florence, Italy. Progress has been achieved by controlling the emission of precursors in some areas of the world, but much remains to be done. This conference will allow all experts in the interactions between ozone and plant ecosystems to meet and discuss the state of the art and the strategies for continuous improvements.
Key issues discussed/latest funding in interactions between ozone and plant ecosystems:
- a) General updates on ozone trends in different countries and ecosystems
- b) New development in modelling of ozone deposition for forest trees and crops
- c) Multi-scale monitoring approaches
- d) Big data validation and analyses (e.g. TOAR, GAW database)
- e) Active monitoring of hourly ozone concentrations and Phytotoxic ozone dose calculation
- f) Mechanisms of ozone impacts and detoxification (molecular, physiological, stomata)
- g) Latest results from multifactorial studies, the effect of ozone on plants in combination with other biotic and abiotic stressors
- h) Impacts of ozone on below-ground processes and nutrient cycling
- i) Ozone & Crops
- j) Ozone impacts on non-woody (semi-)natural vegetation
- k) Impacts of ozone on vegetation in urban areas and role of vegetation in cleaning air in cities
Thanks to the broad participation of experts from different countries and scientific fields, the conference was a fundamental moment to define the state-of-the-art of the challenging interactions between ozone and plant ecosystems. Even if control measures for ozone are becoming effective, especially in Europe and North America, there is an urgent need to fill research and knowledge gaps and to collaborate for future strategies for decision makers at worldwide level. More knowledge is required in the field-based evidence of impacts (monitoring and experimental data developing regions but also developed regions and use of epidemiological data) as well in the understanding ozone in interaction with other stressors related to the changing climate. The flux-based metrics are confirmed to be the most biologically relevant indicators for ozone risk assessments and must be proposed as standards for ecosystem protection. The necessity emerged to improve the research network and establish science policy framework, especially, in developing regions.
The conference also included a visit to the FO3X facility (Free-air O3 eXposure) located within the CNR of Sesto Fiorentino.Opening talk by Elena Paoletti and scientific committee The room for poster sessions with the 47 studies presented Group picture in the Conference venue (Auditorium of Sant'Apollonia) Presenting the ongoing experiments in the FACE facility at CNR (Sesto Fiorentino) during the study tour