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Ozone Damage

Ground-level ozone concentrations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks regularly exceed state and federal health and welfare standards during the summer. Numerous studies show that ozone is injuring the parks' native plants. Surveys have documented visible ozone injury to black oaks, giant sequoia seedlings, and more than a third of the parks' Jeffrey and ponderosa pines. The incidence of ozone injury to Jeffrey and ponderosa pines, some of the most common pines in these parks, has increased over the last 15 or 20 years to the point where ozone injury is now a very real threat to the health of these trees.

Jeffrey pine
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In an effort to better understand this threat, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks participated from 1991 through 1996 in the Forest Ozone Response Study, an interagency bioregional study designed to evaluate ozone exposure and ozone injury in Jeffrey and ponderosa pines throughout the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades. The study found that ozone injury generally increased from north to south, with pines in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks showing some of the most severe ozone injury.

 

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Air Quality Tour

Click on a choice:

  Smog in the Central Valley

  Clean Air in the Wilderness?

  Ozone Damage

  Ozone and Giant Sequoias

  Air Quality Monitoring

  Smoke from Wildland Fire

  Sustainable Practices

  What You Can Do to Help

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