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Assessing adaptation and mitigation potential of roadside trees under the influence of vehicular emissions: A case study of Grevillea robusta and Mangifera indica planted in an urban city of India.

PloS one (2020-01-29)
Hukum Singh, Mukta Yadav, Narendra Kumar, Amit Kumar, Manoj Kumar
ABSTRACT

The ever-increasing vehicle counts have resulted in a significant increase in air pollution impacting human and natural ecosystems including trees, and physical properties. Roadside plantations often act as a first defense line against the vehicular emissions to mitigate the impacts of pollutants. However, they are themselves vulnerable to these pollutants with varying levels of tolerance capacity. This demands a scientific investigation to assess the role of roadside plantation for better management and planning for urban sprawl where selected trees could be grown to mitigate the impacts of harmful pollutants. The present study assesses the impacts of vehicular emissions on the adaptation and mitigation potential of two important roadside tree species i.e. Grevillea robusta and Mangifera indica planted along roadsides in the capital city of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand is one of the Indian Western Himalayan State and its capital city is situated on the foothills of Himalaya. The adaptation and mitigation potential were evaluated by studying the response of pollutants on the functional traits which drive the physiology of the trees. The CO2 assimilation rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency (WUE), air pollution tolerance index (APTI), copper and proline accumulation, dust removal efficiency (DRE), leaf thickness and cooling created by plantation were studied to evaluate the response of trees exposed to roadside traffics. To compare the influence of pollutants, traits of trees grown in a control site with few or absence of vehicular movement were compared with the roadside trees. The control site represented part of a reserve forest where human interference is controlled and human-induced activities are prohibited. The vehicular frequency was found to modulate tree characteristics. The tree characteristics representing WUE, APTI, proline and copper accumulation, leaf thickness, cooling impact, and DRE were enhanced significantly, while the decreased CO2 assimilation rate was observed near roadside trees compared to the control site. We found both of the species to perform well to be used as one of the potential species for roadside and urban greening. However, there is a need to assess the potential of other species in reference to the present study.

MATERIALS
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Product Description

Supelco
Copper Standard for AAS, TraceCERT®, 1000 mg/L Cu in nitric acid