Atmospheric dust pollution was calculated for roadside Ficus bengalensis plant species around Nanded city. Studies were carried out to determine the physiological response of plant species in Nanded city. Objective: To identify the air pollution tolerance plant species. Methods: The leaf samples collected from plant species were used to determine their dust pollution form selected sampling sites. Results: Response of plants towards air pollution was assessed by dust pollution. On the basis of dust pollution were intermediate plant. In present study the maximum dust pollution was observed at ITI Corner area i.e. highly traffic area (SS6) 4.9 gm and minimum at SRTM University healthy area (SS1) 0.78 gm. Conclusions: The dust pollution determination provides a reliable method for screening sensitive tolerant plants under field conditions where the air-shed is contaminated by a variety of pollutants. The susceptibility level of plants to air pollutions as indicated through their dust pollution their responses of plants observed under laboratory and field experiments.
Keywords: Bio indicators, sensitive species, tolerant species, Plant species
In India air pollution is increasing unhindered in present times. Almost all major Indian cities have suspended particulate matter above prescribed limits. Studies on air quality monitoring and evaluation of pollution variation pattern has not been adequately responded in various cities and industrial regions of India. A recent study by the Centre for Science & Environment (CSE) has revealed that air pollution has been killing nearly 52,000 people in 36 Indian cities every year pre-maturely while hospitalizing about 26 million (Pattnaik and Pattnaik 2000). According to an estimate, dust pollution comprises around 40% of the total air pollution problem in India (Khan et al., 1989). The single most importance factor responsible for the deterioration of air quality in Nanded is the exponential increase in petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles Shillewar and Nanware (2011).
In urban areas airborne particulate matter (PM) seems to be very serious problem. Vegetation is a very important tool to remove particulates from the atmosphere. Several studies also revealed that leaves are sensitive and highly exposed part of the plant and may act as a persistent of dust in a polluted environment. They act as a pollution respecter and reduce dust concentration in the air. The capacity of leaves as a dust respecter depends upon their surface geometry, phyllotaxy, epidermal and cellular features, leaf pubescence, height and canopy of trees. However, many plants are very sensitive to air pollutants can damage their leaves, impair plant growth and limit primary productivity. Goddu et al., 2004; Shilton et al., 2005; kim et al., 2007; chakravorty et al., 2014 & Prakash et al., 2014.
Dust is a collection of the solid particles of natural or industrial origin, generally formed by disintegration processes (Faith and Atkisson 1972) and is considered as one of the most widespread air pollutants (Arslan and Boybay 1990). It has been estimated that about 30 million tons of dust enter the atmosphere each year worldwide (van Jaarsveld 2008). Sources of dust pollution include agriculture related activities, power plants, cement factories, etc. Also, due to increased reliance on road transport, roads have become a common source of dusts as driving of heavy vehicles over unpaved roads, loosen soil structure and soil packing density. It reduces the soil cohesion and mechanical stability resulting in accelerated wind erosion and emission of dust particles into the air (Weinan et al., 1998).
Studies on the plant performance at the polluted sites have shown that the plant growth is reduced due to air pollution and the extent of reduction in growth depends on the plant species, concentration and distribution of pollutants and a number of environmental factors (see Pandey and Pandey 1994 for references). In India, the dust pollutants contribute around 40% of total air pollution problems (Chauhan and Sanjeev 2008).
In the present study, investigations have been undertaken to study the impact of dust and particulate air pollutants emitted mainly from industries and also from the vehicles in a rapidly growing urban site in Nanded city, India. This important plants grown not only in India but also in whole of the South East Asia and play an important role in this region.
For the present study, the Nanded city has been selected. Nanded district is part of Marathwada Region in Maharashtra. For the present study in and around area of Nanded city is selected. Nanded city is situated on the bank of Godavari river.
Presently the Urban transportation system in Nanded is mainly dependent on Intermediate Public Transport system including Auto and Cycle rickshaws, Jeeps and Private Cars operating as public carrier and to a small extent by City Bus Services. Bus-based urban transport services in Nanded City was started in the year 1957. During the year 1998 MSTRC operated 40 city buses with manpower strength of about over 250, managing the same. Total of 49 routes were covered including 368 trips and 7,876 km every day.
Plants were randomly selected from the Nanded city. Ficus bengalensis plant commonly growing in an around area of Nanded city. The plant species Ficus bengalensis is confined for sampling. Leaf samples of the Ficus bengalensis plants were collected. The dust samples of fully matured leaves were taken. Samples were collected in early morning and brought to laboratory in polythene bag. Sampling locations are close to various roads with in the Nanded city. The leaves were carried out from a height of 01 to 02 meter from the ground level.
Each sample represents total mass of particulate matter collected from morphologically identical dust loaded leaves of Ficus bengalensis plant. The dust samples were stored in pre cleaned plastic dust collectors. The color, leaf area, leaf weight and length, mass of the dust were observed in every case. The sampling was carried out in between 10 February - 25 February. During this period a heavy rainfall were observed in 23-24 February. The dust samples were collected 2 days after rainfall assuming total washout of the pre-rain dust load.
Results and discussion
Atmospheric dust pollution values of Ficus bengalensis plant were observed. The observed weight of accumulated dust loaded leaf is varied from 0.078 - 4.9 gm. The selected biomonitoring sink displays variable dust load 0.078-4.9 gm. In general the leaf area is known to be directly proportional to the amount of accumulated dust. The measured leaf area of Ficus bengalensis ranges between 80 – 211 cm2. The weight of accumulated leaf dust varies from place to place i.e. SRTM University (SS1) 0.78 gm, MIDC Industrial area (SS2) 3.2 gm, Wajegaon (SS3) 4.10 gm, Old Mondha (SS4) 4.39 gm, Kalamandir (SS5) 3.99 and ITI Corner area (SS6) 4.9 gm.
Study showed greater dust load on the tree species present at the most polluted ITI Corner area as compared to the least polluted SRTM University campus area. This may be due to significantly high air pollution at a site because of the busy road. On the other hand SRTMU campus is embanked by high boundary wall, high tree density and heavy vehicles are restricted making it a low pollution zone.
Similar outcomes are observed by Prakash et al., (2014) in Varanasi city. Lone et al. (2005) studied dust pollution caused by vehicular traffic in Aligarh city Utter Pradesh state. The values reported in the present study are within the range reported by Pandey and Pandey (1994) for the plant species growing in the urban environment of Varanasi.
Dust determinations are of importance because with increased vehicular traffic, industrialization there is increasing danger of deforestation due to air pollution. The results of such studies are useful for future planning and may be helpful to bring out possible control measures.
We are thankful to the School of Earth Sciences, Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded for providing laboratory and library facilities.
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- Vyankatesh Yannawar (Author), 2015, Characterization and Implication of Roadside Leaf Dust Accumulated during Winter in Nanded City, India, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/313816