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Article

The Removal Efficiencies of Several Temperate Tree Species at Adsorbing Airborne Particulate Matter in Urban Forests and Roadsides

1
Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Seoul, Seoul 02504, Korea
2
National Baekdudaegan Arboretum, Bonghwa 36209, Korea
3
Korea Forestry Promotion Institute, Seoul 07570, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(11), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110960
Received: 22 August 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Trees to Pollutants)
Although urban trees are proposed as comparatively economical and eco-efficient biofilters for treating atmospheric particulate matter (PM) by the temporary capture and retention of PM particles, the PM removal effect and its main mechanism still remain largely uncertain. Thus, an understanding of the removal efficiencies of individual leaves that adsorb and retain airborne PM, particularly in the sustainable planning of multifunctional green infrastructure, should be preceded by an assessment of the leaf microstructures of widespread species in urban forests. We determined the differences between trees in regard to their ability to adsorb PM based on the unique leaf microstructures and leaf area index (LAI) reflecting their overall ability by upscaling from leaf scale to canopy scale. The micro-morphological characteristics of adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces directly affected the PM trapping efficiency. Specifically, leaf surfaces with grooves and trichomes showed a higher ability to retain PM as compared to leaves without epidermal hairs or with dynamic water repellency. Zelkova serrata (Thunb.) Makino was found to have significantly higher benefits with regard to adsorbing and retaining PM compared to other species. Evergreen needle-leaved species could be a more sustainable manner to retain PM in winter and spring. The interspecies variability of the PM adsorption efficiency was upscaled from leaf scale to canopy scale based on the LAI, showing that tree species with higher canopy density were more effective in removing PM. In conclusion, if urban trees are used as a means to improve air quality in limited open spaces for urban greening programs, it is important to predominantly select a tree species that can maximize the ability to capture PM by having higher canopy density and leaf grooves or trichomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: adsorption; leaf surfaces; microstructure; particulate matter; roadsides; urban forests adsorption; leaf surfaces; microstructure; particulate matter; roadsides; urban forests
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kwak, M.J.; Lee, J.; Kim, H.; Park, S.; Lim, Y.; Kim, J.E.; Baek, S.G.; Seo, S.M.; Kim, K.N.; Woo, S.Y. The Removal Efficiencies of Several Temperate Tree Species at Adsorbing Airborne Particulate Matter in Urban Forests and Roadsides. Forests 2019, 10, 960. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110960

AMA Style

Kwak MJ, Lee J, Kim H, Park S, Lim Y, Kim JE, Baek SG, Seo SM, Kim KN, Woo SY. The Removal Efficiencies of Several Temperate Tree Species at Adsorbing Airborne Particulate Matter in Urban Forests and Roadsides. Forests. 2019; 10(11):960. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110960

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kwak, Myeong J., Jongkyu Lee, Handong Kim, Sanghee Park, Yeaji Lim, Ji E. Kim, Saeng G. Baek, Se M. Seo, Kyeong N. Kim, and Su Y. Woo 2019. "The Removal Efficiencies of Several Temperate Tree Species at Adsorbing Airborne Particulate Matter in Urban Forests and Roadsides" Forests 10, no. 11: 960. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110960

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