Plants are exposed to a multitude of environmental stresses. As they are rooted in place and immobile, they have developed many elegant defence and avoidance strategies. They are also good bioindicators of environmental changes. We are currently studying plant responses to tropospheric ozone, a major air pollutant worldwide reducing plant productivity and diversity. Using infrared imaging and multivariate statistics, we have recently shown that ozone disrupts leaf temperature regulation. We have also shown that light conditions during summer nights at high latitudes increases ozone damage and temperature disruptions, leading to chronic injury, most likely by inhibiting repair and defence processes.
Future research will focus on identifying the photoreceptor(s) and mechanisms involved and determining the time-course of ozone injury induction. We are also developing imaging methods for discriminating between healthy and injured leaves and for quantifying leaf damage. This work is done in collaboration with Associate Prof. A. Eriksen’s group, Dept. of Biology, University of Oslo.
Contact: Cecilia Futsaether (firstname.lastname@example.org)