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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 12475-12488; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012475

A Survey of Soil Enzyme Activities along Major Roads in Beijing: The Implications for Traffic Corridor Green Space Management

1
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2
The State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
4
Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Georgia Institute of Technology, 828 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rao Bhamidiammarri and Kiran Tota-Maharaj
Received: 23 July 2015 / Revised: 19 August 2015 / Accepted: 1 September 2015 / Published: 8 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Systems Engineering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1269 KB, uploaded 8 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

Soil quality is critical to the management of urban green space, in particular, along traffic corridors where traffic-related air pollution is significant. Soil quality can be evaluated by soil enzyme activities, which show quick responses to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In this study, we investigated three soil enzyme activities (i.e., dehydrogenase, catalase and urease) along the major roads in urban areas of Beijing. Results show the activities of dehydrogenase, catalase and urease in urban samples were 58.8%, 68.2% and 48.5% less than the rural sample, respectively. The content of fluorescent amino acids as indicators of microbial activities was also consistently lower in urban samples than the rural. We observed two times greater exposure of particulate material along the roadsides in urban areas than rural areas. Although traffic air pollutants provide some nutrient sources to stimulate the URE activity, the exposure to traffic-related air pollution leads to the substantial decrease in enzyme activities. There were significant negative correlations for exposure to PM10 with DHA (r = −0.8267, p = 0.0017) and CAT (r = −0.89, p = 0.0002) activities. For the urban soils URE activity increased with the increasing of PM. We conclude that the degraded soil quality can negatively affect the target of developing plants and green spaces along the traffic corridors to mitigate the traffic impact. This study suggests the investigation of integrated strategies to restore the soil quality, reinforce the ecological service functions of green spaces along the traffic corridors and reduce the traffic pollutants. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil enzymes; traffic pollutants; green space management; soil degradation; Beijing soil enzymes; traffic pollutants; green space management; soil degradation; Beijing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, T.; Meng, L.; Herman, U.; Lu, Z.; Crittenden, J. A Survey of Soil Enzyme Activities along Major Roads in Beijing: The Implications for Traffic Corridor Green Space Management. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 12475-12488.

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