Agathokleous, E. and Saitanis, C.J., 
Science of the Total Environment,Volume 703, 134962
Publication year: 2020


In a world with climate change and environmental pollution, modern Biology is concerned with organismic susceptibility. At the same time, policy and decision makers seek information about organismic susceptibility. Therefore, information about organismic susceptibility may have far-reaching implications to the entire biosphere that can extend to several forthcoming generations. Here, we review a sample of approximately 200 published peer-reviewed articles dealing with plant response to ground-level ozone to understand how the information about susceptibility is communicated. A fuzzy and often incorrect terminology was used to describe the responsiveness of plants to ozone. Susceptibility was classified too arbitrarily and this was reflected to the approximately 50 descriptive words that were used to characterize susceptibility. The classification of susceptibility was commonly based on calculated probability (p) value. This practice is inappropriate as p values do not provide any basis for effect or susceptibility magnitude. To bridge the gap between science and policy decision making, classification of susceptibility should be done using alternative approaches, such as effect size estimates in conjunction with multivariate ordination statistics.

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