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Volume 7 (2007), Pages 605-625
Research Article

Soil Water Availability Modulation Over Estimated Relative Yield Losses in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Due to Ozone Exposure

1Ecology Department, Pharmacy Building, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, University of Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
2Environment Department, Unit of Evaluation and Control of Conventional Contamination, CIEMAT, Avenida Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 19 February 2007; Revised 9 April 2007; Accepted 12 April 2007

Academic Editor: Peter Brimblecombe

Copyright © 2007 Daniel D. De la Torre and Maria Jose Sierra.


The approach developed by Fuhrer in 1995 to estimate wheat yield losses induced by ozone and modulated by the soil water content (SWC) was applied to the data on Catalonian wheat yields. The aim of our work was to apply this approach and adjust it to Mediterranean environmental conditions by means of the necessary corrections. The main objective pursued was to prove the importance of soil water availability in the estimation of relative wheat yield losses as a factor that modifies the effects of tropospheric ozone on wheat, and to develop the algorithms required for the estimation of relative yield losses, adapted to the Mediterranean environmental conditions. The results show that this is an easy way to estimate relative yield losses just using meteorological data, without using ozone fluxes, which are much more difficult to calculate. Soil water availability is very important as a modulating factor of the effects of ozone on wheat; when soil water availability decreases, almost twice the amount of accumulated exposure to ozone is required to induce the same percentage of yield loss as in years when soil water availability is high.