BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have found that ozone pollution causes widespread damage to vegetation, according to a paper published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.
In the stratosphere, ozone forms naturally and helps protect the earth from harmful light. But in regions below the stratosphere, ozone is a damaging pollutant formed by the reaction of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides under sunlight, according to the study.
"Ozone can accelerate the flowering time and extend the flowering duration, affecting the plant-pollinator interactions," said Evgenios Agathokleous, professor at the Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology.
He added that ozone pollution also changes flower colors and disrupts pollinators' visual signals.
The study also shows that ozone pollution almost immediately damages plant leaves, making it difficult for them to photosynthesize and generate energy for plant growth. ■