During three consecutive seasons (1987-1989), the effects of low-levels of O3, SO2 and NO2 singly and in all possible combinations (NO2 in 1988 and 1989 only) on growth and yield of potted plants of spring rape (Brassica napus L. var. napus, 'callypso') were investigated by means of factorial fumigation experiments in open-top chambers. Plants were exposed from the early vegetative stage of development until seed harvest, to charcoal-filtered air (CF; control) and CF which was supplemented for 8-h per day (8.00-16.00) with O3, for 16-h per day with NO2 (16.00-8.00) and continuously with SO2. Including the controls, the 24-h daily mean concentrations [microg m(-3)] ranged between 6-44 (O3), 9-88 (SO2) and 10-43 (NO2). The corresponding daily mean concentrations during the time of fumigation were 10-121 and 11-60 microg m(-3) for O3 and NO2, respectively. Single effects of O3 on growth and yield parameters were mostly negative and the magnitude of this effect was dependent on the season. O3 reduced plant dry weight by 11.3-18.6% and yield of seeds by 11.4-26.9%. While medium levels of SO2 stimulated the weight of pods up to 33%, higher concentrations (88 microg m(-3)) caused a decline of yield of 12.3%. From the significant interactive effects which were observed, it could be established that SO2 and NO2 alone mostly acted positively, but that their interaction with each other and especially with O3 was antagonistic, as some of the detrimental effects of O3 were mitigated by these pollutants. An important antagonistic effect between SO2 and O3 or NO2 was observed on yield. While 56 microg m(-3) SO2 increased yield by 9.9% compared to the control treatment, it aggravated the yield loss caused by O3 from -16.18% to -21.4%, and it reduced the yield stimulation caused by NO2 from +11.8% to +4.2%. Leaf area was the only parameter which was negatively affected by all pollutants, their joint action being synergistic.