Explore Air

Ozone Bioindicators

Species considered "sensitive" are those that typically exhibit foliar injury at or near ambient ozone concentrations in fumigation chambers and/or are species for which ozone foliar injury symptoms in the field have been documented by more than one observer.

Bioindicator species for ozone injury meet all or most of the following criteria:

  • species exhibit foliar symptoms in the field at ambient ozone concentrations that can be easily recognized as ozone injury by subject matter experts
  • species ozone sensitivity has been confirmed at realistic ozone concentrations in exposure chambers
  • species are widely distributed regionally
  • species are easily identified in the field

The following list of bioindicators has links to information and pictures for each species. The pictures show healthy plants and, for many species, ozone-injured plants. Ozone injury usually appears as black or purple spots (stipple), yellow or white bleached spots (chlorotic mottle, needle tip burn), or leaf browning (necrosis). Ozone may also cause premature leaf drop (senescence).

Scientific Name Common Name Family Name Other Common Names Links/Pictures
Ailanthus altissima Tree-of-heaven Simaroubaceae Chinese-sumac Yes
Alnus rubra Red alder Betulaceae Oregon alder, Western alder Yes
Alnus rugosa Speckled alder Betulaceae Tag alder, Gray alder, Hoary alder Yes
Apios americana Groundnut Fabaceae Wild bean, American potato bean Yes
Apocynum androsaemifolium Spreading dogbane Apocynaceae Common dogbane Yes
Artemisia douglasiana Douglas' sagewort Asteraceae Mugwort Yes
Artemisia ludoviciana White sagebrush Asteraceae Western wormwood, White sage, Silver King Artemisia, Silver Queen Yes
Asclepias exaltata Tall milkweed Asclepiadaceae
-
Yes
Asclepias syriaca Common milkweed Asclepiadaceae - Yes
Aster acuminatus Whorled aster Asteraceae Wood Aster Yes
Aster macrophyllus Big-leaf aster Asteraceae Large Leaf Aster Yes
Cercis canadensis Redbud Fabaceae Judas-tree Yes
Corylus americana American hazelnut Betulaceae - Yes
Eupatorium rugosum White snakeroot Asteraceae White sanicle Yes
Fraxinus americana White ash Oleaceae - Yes
Gaylussacia baccata Black huckleberry Ericaceae - Yes
Liriodendron tulipifera Yellow-poplar Magnoliaceae Tulip-tree Yes
Lyonia ligustrina Maleberry Ericaceae He-huckleberry Yes
Oenothera elata Evening primrose Onagraceae - Yes
Physocarpus capitatus Pacific ninebark Rosaceae - Yes
Physocarpus malvaceus Mallow ninebark Rosaceae - Yes
Pinus jeffreyi Jeffrey pine Pinaceae - Yes
Pinus ponderosa Ponderosa pine Pinaceae Western yellow pine Yes
Platanus occidentalis American sycamore Platanaceae American plane tree, Buttonball-tree Yes
Populus tremuloides Quaking aspen Salicaceae Trembling aspen Yes
Prunus serotina Black cherry Rosaceae - Yes
Rhus trilobata Skunkbush Anacardiaceae Three leaf sumac Yes
Rubus allegheniensis Allegheny blackberry Rosaceae Common blackberry Yes
Rubus canadensis Thornless blackberry Rosaceae Smooth blackberry Yes
Rudbeckia laciniata Cutleaf coneflower Asteraceae Coneflower, Golden glow Yes
Salix scouleriana Scouler's willow Saliaceae - Yes
Sambucus canadensis American elder Caprifoliaceae White elder Yes
Sambucus mexicana Blue elderberry Caprifoliaceae - Yes
Sambucus racemosa Red elderberry Caprifoliaceae Eastern red-berry elder Yes
Sapium sebiferum Chinese tallowtree Euphorbiaceae Popcorn tree Yes
Symphoricarpos albus Common snowberry Caprifoliaceae Waxberry Yes
Vaccinium membranaceum Huckleberry Ericaceae Big huckleberry, Thin-leaved huckleberry Yes
Verbesina occidentalis Crownbeard Asteraceae - Yes
Vitis labrusca Northern fox grape Vitaceae Fox grape Yes
Vitis vinifera European wine grape Vitaceae - Yes
updated on 09/17/2006  I   http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/Pubs/bioindicators/index.cfm   I  Email: Webmaster