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An analysis of ozone damage to historical maize and soybean yields in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • Justin M. McGrath
  • Amy M. Betzelberger
  • Shaowen Wang
  • Eric Shook
  • Xin-Guang Zhu
  • Stephen P. Long
  • Elizabeth A. Ainsworth
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/11/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number46
Volume112
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)14390-14395
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Numerous controlled experiments find that elevated ground-level ozone concentrations ([O-3]) damage crops and reduce yield. There have been no estimates of the actual yield losses in the field in the United States from [O-3], even though such estimates would be valuable for projections of future food production and for cost-benefit analyses of reducing ground-level [O-3]. Regression analysis of historical yield, climate, and [O-3] data for the United States were used to determine the loss of production due to O-3 formaize (Zeamays) and soybean (Glycine max) from 1980 to 2011, showing that over that period production of rain-fed fields of soybean and maize were reduced by roughly 5% and 10%, respectively, costing approximately $9 billion annually. Maize, thought to be inherently resistant to O-3, was at least as sensitive as soybean to O-3 damage. Overcoming this yield loss with improved emission controls or more tolerant germplasm could substantially increase world food and feed supply at a time when a global yield jump is urgently needed.