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The Role of Plants as Indicator for Air Pollution( Mahadi )

The Role of Plants as Indicator for Air Pollution( Mahadi )

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Published by Muhammad Mahadi

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Muhammad Mahadi on Jul 10, 2009
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05/11/2014

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The role of plants as indicator for air pollution
Muhammad Mahadi. Environmental Science Discipline. Khulna University.Mobile No : 008801717838118
Introduction:
A plant is used to indicate air quality and locate sources of air pollutionutilizing known as air “Pollution Indicator Plant.Indicator plants containing a series of chambers, where the particulate matter and chemicals have been removed by a series of filters.Bio-indicator plants are very sensitive to a selected (toxic) chemical, they respond quickly withtypical visible foliar symptoms to the presence of medium-to-low levels of the noxious agent;they are very cost-effective and represent a striking visual demonstration unit. The category of  plants as a indicator of air pollution are discussed below:
1.
Lichen(
 Parmelia Orthotrichum, Polytrichum
)
2.
Algae
Chlamydomonas, Chlorella, Chlorococcum, Chlorosarcina
)3.
Moss
Tillandsia usneoides
,
Sphagnum, Bryum
4.Herbs and grasses5.Tulsi6.Tobacco7.Lettuce plants
1.Lichen (
 Parmelia)
:
For nearly 25 years that lichen growth and health can assess many air  pollutants and the value of these living organisms rather than man-made instruments for assessing sulfur dioxide levels is that they are inexpensive and give quick results. Lichens areespecially useful in forestry to assess where conifers should be planted since conifers areaffected by the same sulfur dioxide levels that cause lichen cover to decline. The possibilityof transplanting healthy lichens into areas suspected of being polluted, and monitoring physiological parameters such as respiration and photosynthesis, to give a rapid indication of  pollution levels is obvious.Lichen vegetation could assess air pollution levels was supported by Fenton (1960) whileTrass (1971) was able to correlated a mean annual sulfur dioxide (SO
2)
value with his lichenindex "P" to cover sulfur dioxide levels from less than 10 to 300 mg/m
3.
2. Algae
:
Aerial or sub-aerial algae would also be ideal as indicators of air pollution because of ease of handling, range of species specific sensitivity which is greater than in higher plantsand much quicker physiological responses to air chemistry than occur in high plants. Manyof the cortecolous, lithophilous and epiphytic algae, liverworts, fern gametophytes are ideallysuited as air biological monitoring organisms. Using both pollution tolerant and pollutionsensitive species would be best for air quality indication.Especially suitable as test organisms in the Air Biomonitor are the microalgae found in bothaerial and subaerial habitats such as species of Chlamydomonas, Chlorella, Chlorococcum,Chlorosarcina, Chlorosarcinopsis, Gloeocystis, Chlorhormidium Pleurococcus,Stichococcus,Trebouxia, Chroococcus, Gloeocapsa, Nostoc, Oscillatoria, Schizothrix, and Scytonema andthe diatoms- Navicula and Nitzschia.
1 |Page
 
The role of plants as indicator for air pollution
Muhammad Mahadi. Environmental Science Discipline. Khulna University.Mobile No : 0088017178381183.
Moss
(
Tillandsia
):
 
Tillandsia usneoides
is an indicator species to air pollution, that itsdecline is directly related to raised levels of air pollution, and that the most acidic pollutantsare the most harmful. Air pollutants are absorbed by Spanish moss. An experiment wasformulated with two stages: the first, stage involved taking air samples in Houston andtesting for the quantity of specific pollutants using a gas chromatograph and the second stagewas putting Spanish moss in an Environmental Study Chamber (ESC), which is a closedsystem, and exposing it to the pollutants found in the air samples.
Tillandsia usneoides
, commonly called Spanish moss, is a relative of the pineapple (order 
 Bromeliales
, family
 Bromeliaceae
, genus
Tillandsia
(air plant), and species
usneoides
)(Spanish moss). In fact, it is an epiphyte, a plant that gains all of its moisture and nutrientsfrom the air (Arny). The thin trichomes (scales) that cover the whole plant, these trichomes play an important role in the absorption of moisture and nutrients from the air. The trachomasact as pumps, and draw moisture and dissolved minerals into the plants through the stomata(Arny). This indicates that whatever is present in the air—including pollutants—will beabsorbed by the plants.
4.
Herbs and grasses:
Changes in sensitive species of herbs and grasses occur much earlier than in shrub and tree populations. Generally, the degree of ‘Crown die-back’ and death of trees is directly related to the level of SO
2
, NO
2
HF and HCl pollution of air 
.5.
Tulsi
: Tulsi is sensitive to pollution and a minor change in pollution level is also beendetected by this plant. Certain visual observations on the plant supported our prediction thatTulsi can be used as effective bioindicator for autoexhaust pollution. Tulsi act as bio-indicator for determing the increased level of nitrogen and sulphur status in atmosphere.
6.
Tobacco:
 
Biomonitoring of ozone with tobacco is miniaturized kit based on tobaccoseedlings (Nicotiana tabacum L.) cultivars Bel-W3 (O3-supersensitive) and Bel-B (O3-resistant). The biomonitoring units consisted of polystyrene tissue-culture plates with wellsfilled with organic compost; each well held a 10-day-old tobacco seedling, raised in acontrolled environment.
7.
Lettuce plants:
Lettuce plants as bioaccumulations of trace elements Homogeneous adultlettuce plants, Lactuca sativa raised in a greenhouse were exposed to ambient air in 15 dm3containers at nine stations and regularly provided with water until field capacity.
Plant species Reported sensitivity to pollutants
TobaccoBeansSquashWater melonTomatoLichensO
3
O
3
, So
2
O
3
, So
2
O
3
O
3
O
3
, So
2
, No
x
2 |Page

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