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Potential Impact of Ozone on Coniferous Forests of the Interior Southwestern United States

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Despite the well-documented negative impacts of ozone on the health of coniferous forests in southern California and the significant growth experienced by southwestern cities over the past several decades, the ozone/forest dynamic in the interior portion of the southwestern United States has been largely ignored. Primarily through a review of literature pertaining to most aspects of ozone and its impact on forest health, this article provides insights on the ozone/forest dynamic within coniferous forests of the interior Southwest. It is suggested that ozone absorption in southwestern coniferous forests may equal that in southern California, owing to the long-distance transport of atmospheric pollutants into the interior Southwest and the presence of the North American monsoon. Nevertheless, research gaps identified in this article suggest a need for future research on ozone exposure levels and the ozone sensitivities of conifer species and varieties in southwestern coniferous forests.

Keywords: climate; coniferous forests; ozone; southwestern United States

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8306.9302001

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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