Advancements in techniques to rapidly and non-destructively detect the impact of tropospheric ozone (O) on crops are required. This study demonstrates the capability of full-range (350-2500 nm) reflectance spectroscopy to characterize responses of asymptomatic sage leaves under an acute O exposure (200 ppb for 5 h). Using partial least squares regression, spectral models were developed for the estimation of several traits related to photosynthesis, the oxidative pressure induced by O, and the antioxidant mechanisms adopted by plants to cope with the pollutant. Physiological traits were well predicted by spectroscopic models (average model goodness-of-fit for validation (): 0.65-0.90), whereas lower prediction performances were found for biochemical traits (: 0.42-0.71). Furthermore, even in the absence of visible symptoms, comparing the full-range spectral profiles, it was possible to distinguish with accuracy plants exposed to charcoal-filtered air from those exposed to O. An O effect on sage spectra was detectable from 1 to 5 h from the beginning of the exposure, but ozonated plants quickly recovered after the fumigation. This O-tolerance was confirmed by trends of vegetation indices and leaf traits derived from spectra, further highlighting the capability of reflectance spectroscopy to early detect the responses of crops to O.
PMID: 31547452 [PubMed]