Models indicate that ozone inhibits carbon assimilation largely in the upper canopy, due to light and ozone gradients. We document yield reductions and ozone gradients in Casselman plum in open-top ozone fumigation chambers. Ambient air (12 hr mean ozone = 0.050 ppm), charcoal filtered air (0.034 ppm) and ambient air plus added ozone (0.094 ppm) were circulated in the chambers. Additional trees grew outside the chambers (0.058 ppm). Outside the chambers large vertical and horizontal gradients in ozone within the canopy were documented, but these were absent in the chambers. Ozone decreased leaf photosynthesis by 31% and 58%, and fruit yield by 20% and 66%, in the ambient and ozone enriched relative to filtered chambers. Despite altered gradients, yield and photosynthesis of exposed leaves were similar inside and outside the chambers in ambient air. Compensatory changes in leaf function may be involved.
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