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J Environ Sci Eng. 2010 Oct;52(4):285-90.

Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) of some tree species growing near rail roads of Madurai, Tamil Nadu (India).

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Sri Meenakshi Government College for Women (A), Madurai- 625 002, Tamil Nadu, India.


Biological monitoring and assessment studies due to urban--rail road pollutants were carried out using Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) of plants. Four plant (leaf) parameters--namely ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll, relative water content and leaf extract pH were combined together in a formulation signifying the APTI of plants. APTI was calculated for five different species such as Azadirachta indica, Delonix regia, Ficus religiosa, Pongamia pinnata and Polyalthia longifolia growing in two different areas, i.e. control area and along the railway track of Madurai, Tamil Nadu (India). The control site was selected in the college campus. None of the four plant parameters indicated a consistent response to pollutants. In the present study, Delonix regia and Pongamia pinnata lost the tolerance towards air pollutants and became more sensitive, but Azadirachta indica, Ficus religiosa, and Polyalthia longifolia indicated high APTI values over control area and hence considered as tolerant species. The APTI of plants showed a marked gradation as the pollutant load decreased from rail road to control area. The APTI can be used as a good indicator of impact of the air pollution on plants.

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