Nursery stock of plum (Prunus salicina Lindel., `Casselman') was planted 1 Apr. 1988 in an experimental orchard at the Kearney Agricultural Center, Univ. of California, near Fresno. The trees were enclosed in open-top fumigation chambers on 1 May 1989 and exposed to three atmospheric ozone partial pressures (charcoal-filtered air, ambient air, and ambient air + ozone) from 8 May to 15 Nov. 1989 and from 9 Apr. to 9 Nov. 1990. Trees grown outside of chambers were used to assess chamber effects on tree performance. The mean 12-hour (0800-2000 hr Pacific Daylight Time) ozone partial pressures during the 2-year experimental period in the charcoal-filtered, ambient, ambient + ozone, and nonchamber treatments were 0.044, 0.059, 0.111, and 0.064 μPa·Pa-1 in 1989 and 0.038, 0.050, 0.090, and 0.050 pPa·Pa-1 in 1990, respectively. Leaf net CO2 assimilation rate of `Casselman' plum decreased with increasing atmospheric ozone partial pressure from the charcoal-filtered to ambient + ozone treatment. There was no difference in plum leaf net CO2 assimilation rate between the ambient chamber and nonchamber plots. Trees in the ambient + ozone treatment had greater leaf fall earlier in the growing season than those of the other treatments. Cross-sectional area growth of the trunk decreased with increasing atmospheric ozone partial pressures from the charcoal-filtered to ambient + ozone treatment. Yield of plum trees in 1990 was 8.8, 6.3, 5.5, and 5.5 kg/tree in the charcoal-filtered, ambient, ambient + ozone, and nonchamber treatments, respectively. Average fruit weight (grams/fruit) was not affected by atmospheric ozone partial pressure. Fruit count per tree decreased as atmospheric ozone partial pressure increased from the charcoal-filtered to ambient + ozone treatment. Decreases in leaf gas exchange and loss of leaf surface area were probable contributors to decreases in trunk cross-sectional area growth and yield of young `Casselman' plum trees during orchard establishment.
We investigated the effects of three seasonal atmospheric ozone (0,) concentrations on fruit quality, internal breakdown, weight loss, cuticle structure, and ripening characteristics of plum fruit from 3-year-old `Casselman' trees in the 1991 season. Trees were exposed to 12-hour daily mean O3 concentrations of 0.034 [charcoal-filtered air (CFA)], 0.050 [ambient air (AA)], or 0.094 [ambient plus O3 (AA+O)] μl·liter-1 from bloom to leaf-fall (1 Apr. to31 Oct. 1991). Fruit quality and internal breakdown incidence measured at harvest and after 2, 4, and 6 weeks of storage at 0C were not affected by any of the O3 treatments. Following an ethylene (C2H4) preconditioning treatment, the rate of fruit softening, C2H4 production, and CO, evolution was higher for plums harvested from the AA + O than from those grown in CFA. Weight loss of fruit from the AA + O exceeded that of fruit from CFA and AA. Anatomical studies of mature plums indicated differences in wax deposition and cuticle thickness between fruit grown in AA + O, AA, and CFA. Differences in gas permeability, therefore, may explain the difference in the ripening pattern of `Casselman' plum fruit grown in high atmospheric O3 partial pressures.