Ozone pollution threatens plant health

(ORDO NEWS) — Chinese researchers have found that ozone pollution causes widespread damage to vegetation, according to an article published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Xinhua News Agency reported Oct. 12.

In the stratosphere, ozone forms naturally and helps protect the earth from harmful light. But in regions below the stratosphere, ozone is a harmful pollutant produced by the reaction of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides when exposed to sunlight, according to the study.

“Ozone can speed up flowering time and extend its duration by influencing plant-pollinator interaction,” said Eugenios Agathokleous, professor at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology.

He added that ozone pollution also changes the color of flowers and disrupts visual cues from pollinators. The study also shows that ozone pollution damages plant leaves almost immediately, making it difficult for them to photosynthesise and generate energy for plant growth.

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