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Preliminary assessment of risk of ozone impacts to maize (Zea mays) in southern Africa

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Published copy (DOI)


  • A M van Tienhoven
  • M Zunckel
  • L Emberson
  • A Koosailee
  • L Otter


Publication details

JournalEnvironmental Pollution
DatePublished - Mar 2006
Issue number2
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)220-230
Original languageEnglish


Surface ozone concentrations in southern Africa exceed air quality guidelines set to protect agricultural crops. This paper addresses a knowledge gap by performing a preliminary assessment of potential ozone impacts on vegetation in southern African. Maize (Zea mays L.) is the receptor of interest in the main maize producing countries, i.e. South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Surface ozone concentrations are estimated for the growing season (October to April) using photochemical modelling. Hourly mean modelled ozone concentrations ranged between 19.7 and 31.2 ppb, while maximums range between 28.9 and 61.9 ppb, and are near 30 ppb over South Africa and Zambia, while in Zimbabwe, they exceed 40 ppb and translate into monthly AOT40 values of over 3000 ppb h in five of the seven months of the growing season. This study suggests that surface ozone may pose a threat to agricultural production in southern African, particularly in Zimbabwe. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • ground level ozone, southern Africa, maize, crop loss, AOT40, AMBIENT OZONE, SURFACE OZONE, VEGETATION, WHEAT, FLUX, O-3, EXPOSURES, QUALITY, EUROPE, REGION

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