Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedlings were exposed to 0.120 micromol mol(-1) (ppm) ozone for 7 h per day, 5 days per week for 12 weeks. No visible damage resulted from this regime. A short-lived radioisotope of carbon ((11)C) was used to characterize changes in plant physiology caused by ozone, the first time this technique has been used for ozone exposure studies. In comparison to plants kept in charcoal-filtered air, pines exposed to ozone exhibited reductions in photosynthesis (16%), speed of phloem transport (11%), phloem photosynthate concentration (40%) and total carbon transport toward roots (45%). Photosynthate not transported to the roots appeared to accumulate in the stems. Primary branches of pines exposed to ozone were some 50-60% heavier than those of control pines. Ozone was thus shown to have a significant short-term impact on phloem transport processes that results in a shift in allocation of photosynthate favoring stems.