Relationships between air particulate matter capture efficiency and leaf traits in twelve tree species from an Italian urban-industrial environment

Air pollution in the urban environment is widely recognized as one of the most harmful threats for human health. International organizations such as the United Nations and the European Commission are highlighting the potential role of nature in mitigating air pollution and are now funding the implementation of Nature-Based Solutions, especially at the city level. Over the past few decades, the attention of the scientific community has grown around the role of urban forest in air pollution mitigation. Nevertheless, the understanding on Particulate Matter (PM) retention mechanisms by tree leaves is still limited. In this study, twelve tree species were sampled within an urban park of an industrial city. Two techniques were used for leaf analysis: Vacuum/Filtration and Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, in order to obtain a quali-quantitative analysis of the different PM size fractions. Results showed that deposited PM loads vary significantly among species. Different leaf traits, including micro and macromorphological characteristics, were observed, measured and ranked, with the final aim to relate them with PM load. Even if no significant correlation between each single leaf characteristic and PM deposition was observed (p > 0.05), multivariate analysis revealed relationships between clusters of leaf traits and deposited PM. Thus, by assigning a score to each trait, an Accumulation index (Ai) was calculated, which was significantly related to the leaf deposited PM load (p ≤ 0.05). © 2018

Sgrigna G.1 , Baldacchini C.1, 2 , Dreveck S.3 , Cheng Z. 4, 5 , Calfapietra C. 1, 6
Elsevier B.V.
  • 1 Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET), National Research Council (CNR), Via Marconi 2, Porano, TR 05010, Italy
  • 2 Biophysics and Nanoscience Centre, Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), University of Tuscia, Largo dell'Università snc, Viterbo, 01100, Italy
  • 3 Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, Via San Camillo de Lellis snc, Viterbo, 01100, Italy
  • 4 Brooklyn College, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 5 Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems, RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 6 Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v. v. i., Bělidla 986/4a, Brno, 603 00, Czech Republic
Air quality; Leaf morphology; Nature-based solutions; Particulate matter; Scanning electron microscopy
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Kuznetsova S.A., Gak A.S., Nelyubina Y.V., Larionov V.A., Li H., North M., Zhereb V.P., Smol'yakov A.F., Dmitrienko A.O., Medvedev M.G., Gerasimov I.S., Saghyan A.S., Belokon Y.N.
Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry. Beilstein-Institut Zur Forderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften. Vol. 16. 2020. P. 1124-1134