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Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jun 15;427-428:347-54. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.084. Epub 2012 May 2.

Plant species differences in particulate matter accumulation on leaf surfaces.

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Bioforsk, Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Postvegen 213, 4353 Klepp, Norway.


Particulate matter (PM) accumulation on leaves of 22 trees and 25 shrubs was examined in test fields in Norway and Poland. Leaf PM in different particle size fractions (PM(10), PM(2.5), PM(0.2)) differed among the species, by 10- to 15-folds at both test sites. Pinus mugo and Pinus sylvestris, Taxus media and Taxus baccata, Stephanandra incisa and Betula pendula were efficient species in capturing PM. Less efficient species were Acer platanoides, Prunus avium and Tilia cordata. Differences among species within the same genus were also observed. Important traits for PM accumulation were leaf properties such as hair and wax cover. The ranking presented in terms of capturing PM can be used to select species for air pollution removal in urban areas. Efficient plant species and planting designs that can shield vulnerable areas in urban settings from polluting traffic etc. can be used to decrease human exposure to anthropogenic pollutants.

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