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Volume 16, No. 11, November 2016, Pages 2920-2932 PDF(1.7 MB)  Supplementary MaterialPDFPDF (738 KB)
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.04.0272   

Deposition and Impact of Urban Atmospheric Dust on Two Medicinal Plants during Different Seasons in NCR Delhi

Gyan Prakash Gupta, Bablu Kumar, Sudha Singh, Umesh Chandra Kulshrestha

Jawaharlal Nehru University, School of Environmental Sciences, Delhi 110067, India


  • Higher dustfall fluxes at industrial site than at residential site.
  • Morus foliar had higher dustfall as compared to Arjun foliar.
  • Photosynthestic pigments decreased with the increase in dustfall.
  • Ascorbic acid and proline levels increased with increasing dustfall.
  • Dust deposition blocked the stomata and affected cuticle and epidermal layers.



This study reports dustfall deposition on foliar surfaces of two medicinally important plant species i.e., Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) and Morus (Morus alba) in relation with its impact on biochemical constituents and surfaces morphology of the foliar. The study was carried out at a residential (JNU) and an industrial site (SB) of National Capital Region (NCR) Delhi. The results showed that at the industrial site, the dustfall fluxes were almost 2.5 times higher than that at the residential site. Dustfall fluxes were noticed higher on Morus foliar than Arjun foliar as the roughness of Morus foliar is greater. Deposition fluxes of major anions (F, Cl, NO3, SO42–) and cations (Na+, NH4+, K+, Ca++, Mg++) ions were also calculated by analyzing aqueous extract of dustfall at both the site. The results showed that with the increase in dustfall fluxes on the foliar surfaces, the levels of photosynthetic pigments and soluble sugar decreased while the levels of ascorbic and proline amino acid were increased at both the sites for both the plants. Dustfall fluxes had distinct seasonality having the order of fluxes as winter > summer > monsoon. Surface morphological study revealed that dust deposition adversely affects the foliar surface, cuticle and epidermal layers. Dust particle deposition ruptures and blocks the stomatal pores. As compared to the residential site, the foliar samples collected from the industrial site showed a more significant impact of dust on biochemical constituents and surface morphology.



Keywords: Urban dust; Ionic fluxes; Biochemical constituents; Foliar surface; Stomata damage.



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