Tropospheric ozone is one of the most reactive air pollutants, which causes visible injuries, as well as biomass and yield losses. The negative effect of ozone is cumulative during the growing season; hence crops are the most sensitive plants. Visible symptoms and biomass losses can cause economic losses. Tobacco plants have been recognized as one of the best bioindicators, but data on the cumulative effect of ozone on this species are limited. Results of an experiment with ozone-sensitive tobacco plants grown on sites varying in ozone concentration are presented in this paper. Two indices were used for data presentation of visible leaf injury degree. Higher solar radiation was the main cause of higher ozone concentration at the rural site. Higher tropospheric ozone concentrations were noted in 2010 in comparison to 2011, which was reflected in visible leaf injury. Canonical variate analysis did not reveal highly significant differences between sites, however, differences were observed in certain investigation periods. Moreover, higher leaf injury was noted at the rural site at the end of the experiment in both experimental years. This indicates the cumulative effect of ozone during the growing season. However, higher injury variability was noted at the urban site, even though lower ozone concentrations were noted there. Lower variability of injury at the rural site might suggest lack of influence of particulate matter and occurrence of higher injury even though lower ozone concentrations occurred. Better detection of ozone injury was shown by the first index based on three mean values.
The aim of the research was to assess the microbiological (number of heterotrophic bacteria, actinobacteria and moulds) and biochemical (urease and acid phosphatase activity) state of peat with the admixture of composts produced from sewage sludge. An additional aim of the research was to demonstrate the influence of those substrates on the morphological traits of scarlet sage (height, number and length of shoots, number of buds and inflorescences, greenness index (SPAD)). Composts produced from sewage sludge, wheat, maize and lupine straw were mixed with peat, where their percentage varied from 25% to 75%. The substrate which included the composts applied in the experiment had a higher number of heterotrophic bacteria and a higher acid phosphatase activity level than the control substrate (peat). The multiplication of moulds and actinobacteria was more intensive than in the peat only in the combinations with K3 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+ lupine straw 30%) and K4 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+fresh maize straw 30%) composts, whereas the highest urease activity level was observed in the soils produced from K1 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+white straw 30%) compost. The most optimal development of plants was observed in the substrate with compost produced from wheat straw. Composts produced from municipal sewage sludge were found to be suitable for growing scarlet sage. However, their effect depends on the percentage of high peat in the substrate.