After three months of observation, it was found that the sensitive plants experienced more severe ozone-induced leaf injury from flowering stage onward but a higher yield than the resistant genotype. The result could be explained by stress-induced flowering caused by ozone; ozone, as a source of stresses, triggers plants to produce more flowers and seeds as a coping mechanism for increasing the chance of fertilisation and reproduction.
The findings, recently published in Atmosphere, show that the ozone level in Hong Kong is high enough to cause vital change to plants even in countryside area like CUHK campus. The results not only suggested further investigation into the physiology of the beans under various ozone concentrations in a controlled environment, but also contributed to the current limited studies on how ozone pollution affects the terrestrial ecosystems and vegetation in subtropical areas including Hong Kong.
Leung, F., Pang, J., Tai, A. P., Lam, T., Tao, D. K., & Sharps, K. (2020). Evidence of ozone-induced visible foliar injury in Hong Kong using Phaseolus vulgaris as a bioindicator. Atmosphere, 11(3), 266. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030266