Assessment of air pollution tolerance levels of selected plants around cement industry, Coimbatore, India
Journal of environmental biology
Being the second largest manufacturing industry in India, cement industry is one of the major contributors of suspended particulate matter (SPM). Since plants are sensitive to air pollution, introducing suitable plant species as part of the greenbelt around cement industry was the objective of the present study. Suitable plant species were selected based on the Air pollution tolerance index (APTI) calculated by analyzing ascorbic acid (AA), pH, relative water content (RWC) and total chlorophyll
... (TChl) of the plants occuring in the locality. Plants were selected within a 6 km radius from the industry and were graded as per their tolerance levels by analyzing the biochemical parameters. From the statistical analysis at 0.05 level of significance a difference in the APTI values among the 27 plant species was observed, but they showed homogenous results when analysed zone wise using one-way analyses of variance. Analyses of individual parameters showed variation in the different zones surrounding the cement industry, whereas the APTI value (which is a combination of the parameter viz. AA, RWC, TChl, pH) showed more or less same gradation. Significant variation in individual parameters and APTI was seen with in the species. All the plants surrounding the cement industry are indicative of high pollution exposure comparable to the results obtain for control plants. Based on the APTI value, it was observed that about 37% of the plant species were tolerant. Among them Mangifera indica, Bougainvillea species, Psidum quajava showed high APTI values. 33% of the species were highly susceptible to the adverse effects of SPM, among which Thevetia neriifolia, Saraca indica, Phyllanthus emblica and Cercocarpus ledifolius showed low APTI values. 15% each of the species were at the intermediary and moderate tolerance levels.