Elevated ground-level ozone (O3) pollution can adversely affect plants and inhibit plant growth and productivity, threatening food security and ecological health. It is therefore essential to develop measures to protect plants against O3-induced adverse effects. Here we summarize the current status of phytoprotection against O3-induced adverse effects and consider recent scientific and engineering advances, to provide a novel perspective for maximizing plant health while reducing environmental/ecological risks in an O3-polluted world. We suggest that nanoscience and nanotechnology can provide a new dimension in the protection of plants against O3-induced adverse effects, and recommend that new studies are based upon a green chemistry perspective.
Elevated tropospheric ozone concentrations induce adverse effects in plants. We reviewed how ozone affects (i) the composition and diversity of plant communities by affecting key physiological traits; (ii) foliar chemistry and the emission of volatiles, thereby affecting plant-plant competition, plant-insect interactions, and the composition of insect communities; and (iii) plant-soil-microbe interactions and the composition of soil communities by disrupting plant litterfall and altering root exudation, soil enzymatic activities, decomposition, and nutrient cycling. The community composition of soil microbes is consequently changed, and alpha diversity is often reduced. The effects depend on the environment and vary across space and time. We suggest that Atlantic islands in the Northern Hemisphere, the Mediterranean Basin, equatorial Africa, Ethiopia, the Indian coastline, the Himalayan region, southern Asia, and Japan have high endemic richness at high ozone risk by 2100.