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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 8, NUMBER 5, MAY 1995

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
OF GENERAL INTEREST: BIOLOGICAL IMPACTS


Item #d95may22

"Interactive Effects of Ambient Ozone and Climate Measured on Growth of Mature Forest Trees," S.B. McLaughlin (Environ. Sci. Div., Oak Ridge Natl. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831), D.J. Downing, Nature, 474(6519), 252-254, Mar. 16, 1995.

Reports a five-year study of serial changes in stem circumference of 28 mature loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees, that has defined a rough ozone response threshold and quantified short- and longer-term components of growth responses to varying ozone and climate variables. Episodic alterations of stem growth are directly related to ozone exposure combined with low soil moisture and high air temperature. Future ozone effects on forests are likely to be influenced by climate change and by projected increases in regional ozone pollution in industrialized countries.


Item #d95may23

"Climate Change: Potential Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Ozone (O3), and Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) Radiation on Plant Diseases," W.J. Manning (Dept. Plant Pathol., Univ. Massachusetts, Amherst MA 01003), A. V. Tiedemann, Environ. Pollut., 88(2), 219-245, 1995.

Very little is known about the actual impacts of climate change factors on disease epidemiology in plants. Increased CO2 could increase plant canopy size and density, with resulting greater biomass and higher microclimate relative humidity. This could promote diseases such as rusts, mildews, leaf spots and blights. Plants weakened through ozone could be more susceptible to necrotrophic pathogens; ozone is unlikely to directly affect fungal pathogens. Increased UV-B could lead to increased disease resistance through increased production of flavinoids, but reduced net photosynthesis, and premature ripening and senescence, could result in variable reactions to disease.


Item #d95may24

"Global Climate Change: Modelling the Potential Responses of Agro-Ecosystems with Special Reference to Crop Protection," J. Goudriaan (Dept. Theoretical Production Ecol., Wageningen Agric. Univ., POB 430, 6700 AA Wageningen, Neth.), J.C. Zadoks, ibid., 215-224.

Although climate change can affect potential yields, little is known about its ability to modify the effects of pests, diseases, and weeds. If climate change causes a gradual shift of agricultural regions, crops and associated pests, diseases and weeds will migrate together, though perhaps at different rates. Increases in atmospheric CO2 and UV radiation are not likely to have large effects. Makes cautionary remarks to avoid jumping to conclusions.


Item #d95may25

"Impact of Climate Change on Grassland Production and Soil Carbon Worldwide," W.J. Parton (Natural Resour. Ecol. Lab., Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins CO 80523), . .and SCOPEGRAM Group Members (c/o D.O. Hall, Div. Life Sci., King's Coll., London W8 7AH, UK), Global Change Biology, 1(1), 13-22, Feb. 1995.

Modeling was done under two different climate change scenarios for 31 temperate and tropical grassland sites using the CENTURY model. The net effect of climate change and CO2 was an increase in net primary production in mesic and dry savanna regions, with little or no change in cold desert steppe or humid tropical regions. Detecting statistically significant change in plant production would require a 16% change because of high year-to-year variability in plant production. Most predicted changes in plant production are less than 10%.


Item #d95may26

"Climate of the 21st Century," L. Bengtsson (M. Planck Inst. Meteor., Bundestr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Ger.), Agric. & Forest Meteor., 72(1-2), 3-29, Dec. 1994.

Primarily a review of how GCMs predict climate change. Concludes with results of possible changes in vegetation estimated by the response of a biome model, which indicates minor changes in vegetation. There is a small north-eastward movement of vegetation zones over Europe and North America.


Item #d95may27

"Simulated Climate Change: Are Passive Greenhouses a Valid Microcosm for Testing the Biological Effects of Environmental Perturbations?" A.W. Kennedy (Marine Lab., CSIRO, POB 20, North Beach, Perth WA 6020, Australia), Global Change Biology, 1(1), 29-42, Feb. 1995.

Challenges the assumption of many studies that "passive" greenhouses (those not requiring artificial power input to create treatment conditions) provide a sufficiently controlled micro-environment for climate change research. Greenhouses modify temperature, moisture, light, gas composition, snow cover, and wind speed in a complex and interactive manner. However, the relationship between modification and forecast conditions of climate change is poor, and interpretation of biological responses and extrapolation to predictive models is unreliable. Suggests amendments to the methodology used in greenhouse experiments to overcome criticisms of artifact and lack of rigor.

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