SEI Contact:

Lisa Emberson

Telephone: +44 1904 322925

Time-frame: 2015–2017

Project status: Active

Quantifying the impact of ground level O3 on soil carbon (C) sequestration

Ozone is both a GHG and an air pollutant that decreases photosynthesis and hence plant growth and biomass. Ozone effects on C sequestration caused by reductions in terrestrial biomass have been estimated to produce a radiative forcing effect that exceeds that resulting from ozone acting solely as a GHG. However, these estimates do not consider the possible influence of ozone on soil C sequestration. Since ozone exposure reduces C uptake into plants, it also likely interferes with soil C cycling through altered litter input, decomposition rates and microbial activities.

This project aims to study and quantify the relationships between ozone exposure and probable changes in different soil C pools by: (1) Combining an ozone deposition model DO3SE (capable of estimating deposition, uptake and damage caused by ozone to living plant biomass) with a soil C model (CENTURY); (2). Performing targeted experimental campaigns to provide empirical data to allow the incorporation of ozone effects on plant lignin, root exudates and microbial activity in the integrated DO3SE-CENTURY model and; (3). Application of the DO3SE-CENTURY model at locations in the UK to allow assessments of the impact of ozone levels on both living biomass and soil C.


Funder: AXA Fellowship - Divya Pandey

Partners: CEH Bangor