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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Andrew J Burton


There is substantial genetic variability in response to ozone amongst and within tree species. Aspen is a highly variable species with a wide range of responses to ozone. Aspen response to elevated O3 levels is being investigated at the Aspen FACE site near Rhinelander, WI where five aspen clones of varying O3 tolerance have been fumigated with elevated O3 over the past decade. In this study, we examined the physiological differences in two of the aspen clones that differed significantly in their O3 tolerance with 8L being tolerant and 42E being sensitive. Throughout the 2007 and 2008 growing seasons we periodically estimated instantaneous photosynthetic rates, ACi responses and light response curves. The results of our study suggest that aspen clone 8L’s tolerance is due in part to decreased stomatal conductance early in the season, which lowered ozone uptake. Later during the season O3 uptake was comparable for the two clones. Our results also suggest the response of Vcmax, TPU, Rd, Gm, light compensation point and quantum flux to elevated O3 did not differ significantly between the two clones. Ozone uptake is important for ozone tolerance in clone 8L early in the season but cannot explain late season tolerance. Photosynthetic parameters for the two clones were similar, so clone 8L’s ozone tolerance is not due to a more efficient photosynthetic system.