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Interference of dust deposition on the physiology of roadside plants: screening bio-filters using a differential green exhaust absorption method

Author Affiliations

  • 1Post Graduate Department of Botany, Barasat Government College, 10 K N C Road, Barasat, Kolkata- 700124, India
  • 2Post Graduate Department of Botany, Barasat Government College, 10 K N C Road, Barasat, Kolkata- 700124, India
  • 3Agricultural and Ecological Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B.T. Road, Kolkata - 700108, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 6, Issue (1), Pages 28-34, January,22 (2017)


Plant leaves are the receptors of atmospheric gases and sunlight. Roadside dust and particulate pollutants deposited on the surfaces of plant leaves can impact plant physiology. The rate of dust deposition and the level of interference can also vary with species. The present sampling was conducted along the roadsides around Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (N.S.C.B.) International Airport, Kolkata, India. The area is highly congested with a variety of motor vehicles that generate heavy gaseous and particulate pollutants into the surrounding air. We studied the differential effects of dust deposition on plant mesophyll cell-sap pH, relative water content, chlorophylls a and b and carotenoid, ascorbic acid, total protein, sugar contents. We also examined the differential reduction of oxygen release to the surrounding atmosphere. Dust deposition was found to be highest on Ficus benghalensis and lowest on Polyalthia longifolia out of the total number of roadside species studied (n = 5) in this research. Furthermore, Polyalthia longifolia was found to be least affected by dust deposition as estimated by our air pollution tolerance index (APTI) and in terms of oxygen emitted to the surrounding air. We determined a set of species that can cope best with dust deposition, which will help determine the optimal species to be used in the abatement of particulate roadside pollution and as natural filters.


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