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Thresholds for nitrogen oxide emissions for gas turbines on Australian native plants: A report to the Energy Research and Development Corporation

Murray, F., Walker, C. and Monk, R. (1992) Thresholds for nitrogen oxide emissions for gas turbines on Australian native plants: A report to the Energy Research and Development Corporation. School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

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Abstract

Natural vegetation in Europe and North America has been damaged by emissions of nitrogen oxides, but there are no published studies of effects of nitrogen oxides on Australian native vegetation. To determine the potential for emissions of nitrogen oxides from gas-fired power stations to affect Australian native vegetation, eight economically or ecologically important tree species were exposed to nitrogen oxides at various concentrations and frequencies of exposure. The experiments were conducted in open-top chambers under field climatic conditions, and under realistic exposure conditions.

The results showed that although there were some species differences, concentrations of up to 200 nL L-1 for 2 hour/day, 3 days/week, stimulated height and weight by about 10-20%. However, a decrease in height and weight of up to 15% resulted from exposure to 100-500 nL L-1 for 2 hour/day, days/week, depending on the species. There was no visible injury. Changes in the frequency of exposure had little effect on plant response, but there were interactions with sulphur dioxide, cold and possibly drought, which can accentuate the effects of nitrogen oxides.

The symptoms of nitrogen dioxide injury to leaves of Australian native plants have not been previously described, but are described in this report. They are unlikely to be found in the field as they only occur at very high concentrations, such as would only be found around the sites of large accidental releases.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/21560
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