In one- and two-year-old green needles ofPinus pinaster growing downwind from a coal-fired power station (main airborne pollutant SO2), mesophyll chloroplast alterations consisted in swelling of the lamellae (ranging in intensity from slight to pronounced), reduction of grana number, and granulation of the stroma. The most severely affected chloroplasts were almost spherical, with highly dilated and corrugated lamellae and lacunae in the stroma. There was a large increase in the amount of lipid-like material present as droplets in cytoplasm, vacuole and stroma chloroplasts; these droplets appeared to be expulsed from the chloroplasts to the cytoplasm and vacuole. The trees with the most severely affected chloroplasts stood southwest of the power station,i.e. downwind with respect to the winds prevailing most of the year. Chloroplasts from two-year-old needles were more affected than those from one-year-old needles.