Special Issue "Responses of Trees to Pollutants"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecophysiology and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Claudia Cocozza
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Via San Bonaventura,13, 50145 Firenze, Italy
Interests: tree physiology; forest ecology; environmental stress; dendrochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The fingerprint of anthropogenic disturbance on urban environmental quality is a relevant question in modern society. Air pollution is one of the most important problems related to industrialization and is of major concern to societies for its effects on the environment and human health. Pollutants can be deposited onto plant surfaces, absorbed from the atmosphere by foliage, and taken up from soil by roots. Responses of trees to pollutants require investigation to assess pollutant uptake in trees and resistance to pollution. Indeed, the translocation of trace elements depends on tree species and the chemical element: Cation exchange processes may occur within the xylem sap, and fluctuations in element concentration can occur from one annual ring to the next. The potential of trees to uptake pollutants is an efficient pathway to preserve the environment. Responses of trees to pollutants conveniently implement modelling processes, towards identifying physiological plant response and resistance mechanisms, plant signals in relation to the pollution threshold, and suitable trees for urban forestry. Investigations from the field to the experimental level and the approaches of monitoring and modeling allow one to implement the knowledge and potential of tree responses in a polluted environment. Moreover, species-specific properties (e.g., tolerance and/or bioindication capacity for specific contaminants) can help planners create an effective monitoring net in strategic urban or peri-urban areas or detect single contaminants in space and time.

Dr. Claudia Cocozza
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Air, water and soil pollution
  • Pollutant uptake
  • Stress physiology
  • Phytoremediation
  • Dendrochemistry
  • Ecosystem services
  • Urban forestry

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Visualization and Localization of Submicron-Sized Ammonium Sulfate Particles on Needles of Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi) and Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) and Leaves of Japanese Beech (Fagus crenata) and Japanese Chinquapin (Castanopsis sieboldii) after Artificial Exposure
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121151 - 17 Dec 2019
Abstract
We applied a method combining field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) to visualize the deposition and localization of the submicron-sized ammonium sulfate (AS) particles. The AS particles emitted from an aerosol generator in the laboratory were spherical in [...] Read more.
We applied a method combining field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) to visualize the deposition and localization of the submicron-sized ammonium sulfate (AS) particles. The AS particles emitted from an aerosol generator in the laboratory were spherical in shape and individually deposited without aggregation on the surface of a silicon substrate. We determined the AS particles on the surfaces of the needles of Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) and Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), and the leaves of Japanese beech (Fagus crenata) and Japanese chinquapin (Castanopsis sieboldii), using EDX. The particles were deposited on either the adaxial or abaxial side of the leaves and needles. The AS particles deposited on the surfaces of the leaves and needles did not aggregate, and they were deposited on the surfaces of the leaves and needles in the same manner, regardless of leaf structure. These results, using a new method, highlight the early stages of the deposition and localization of submicron-sized AS particles on the surfaces of the leaves and needles of forest trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Trees to Pollutants)
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Open AccessArticle
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 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Trees to Pollutants)
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Open AccessArticle
Salinity Tolerance in Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl.: Seed Emergence in Field and Germination Trials
Forests 2019, 10(11), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110940 - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
The effect of salinity on seed germination/emergence in narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) was studied both under field and laboratory conditions, in order to detect critical values to NaCl exposure. Research Highlights: Novel statistical methods in germination ecology has been applied (i) [...] Read more.
The effect of salinity on seed germination/emergence in narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) was studied both under field and laboratory conditions, in order to detect critical values to NaCl exposure. Research Highlights: Novel statistical methods in germination ecology has been applied (i) to determine the effects of chilling length and salinity (up to 150 mM NaCl) on Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa seed emergence, and (ii) to estimate threshold limits treating germination response to salinity as a biomarker. Background and Objectives: Salinity cut values at germination stage had relevant interest for conservation and restoration aims of Mediterranean floodplain forests in coastal areas subjected to salt spray exposure and/or saline water introgression. Results: Salinity linearly decreased germination/emergence both in the field and laboratory tests. Absence of germination was observed at 60 mM NaCl in the field (70–84 mM NaCl depending on interpolation model) and at 150 mM NaCl for 4-week (but not for 24-week) chilling. At 50 mM NaCl, germination percentage was 50% (or 80%) of control for 4-week (or 24-week) chilling. Critical values for salinity were estimated between freshwater and 50 (75) mM NaCl for 4-week (24-week) chilling by Bayesian analysis. After 7-week freshwater recovery, critical cut-off values included all tested salinity levels up to 150 mM NaCl, indicating a marked resumption of seedling emergence. Conclusions: Fraxinus angustifolia is able to germinate at low salinity and to tolerate temporarily moderate salinity conditions for about two months. Prolonged chilling widened salinity tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Trees to Pollutants)
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Open AccessArticle
Inversion and Effect Research on Dust Distribution of Urban Forests in Beijing
Forests 2019, 10(5), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10050418 - 15 May 2019
Abstract
Urban forests affect the filtration and absorption of airborne particulate matter, which can minimize the harmful effects to human health caused by airborne particulate pollution. Evergreen plants in urban forests play a major role in absorbing dust and purifying the air, especially in [...] Read more.
Urban forests affect the filtration and absorption of airborne particulate matter, which can minimize the harmful effects to human health caused by airborne particulate pollution. Evergreen plants in urban forests play a major role in absorbing dust and purifying the air, especially in winter. Studying the spatial distribution of leaf dust and exploring the dust retention effect of evergreen shrubs are important for scientifically guiding urban forest construction and improving the living environment of cities in winter. The purpose of this study was to establish a dust inversion model by correlation analysis of spectral reflectance and the amount of dust absorption (ADA) of vegetation, using Sentinel-2 satellite remote-sensing images to obtain the dust distribution of the evergreen vegetation (mainly Euonymus japonicus Thunb.) in the Beijing urban area, and to determine the effect of the spatial pattern of E. japonicus woodland on ADA intensity. The result showed that the red band and near-infrared band are most sensitive to dust. The normalized difference phenology index (NDPI) is more suitable for building an inversion model, where the determination coefficient (R2) of the inversion model constructed by the ratio of the NDPI (RNDPI) was 0.879. The inversion results show that the mean ADA in the enclosed area is smaller than that in semi-enclosed and open areas, and the regional distribution of high ADA in the urban area of Beijing was higher in the south with a tendency of the ADA to decrease from city center to the surrounding area. The size, shape, and percentage of landscape (PLAND) of E. japonicus woodland have a significant effect on ADA intensity. We found that, in the study area, when the PLAND of E. japonicus woodland is higher than 40%, its ADA intensity remains basically unchanged. When the vegetation coverage is fixed, the landscape shape index is negatively correlated with ADA intensity, and reduction of the overall shape complexity of forestland can enhance its dust retention effect and improve the air environment of the surrounding areas. The results of this study can be used as a reference for urban planners and landscape architects when building urban forests, providing a scientific basis for controlling and reducing air particulate pollution in Beijing’s winter and improving the living environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Trees to Pollutants)
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Open AccessArticle
How Does Leaf Surface Micromorphology of Different Trees Impact Their Ability to Capture Particulate Matter?
Forests 2018, 9(11), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110681 - 30 Oct 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Particulate matter (PM), including PM10 and PM2.5, has a major impact on air quality and public health. It has been shown that trees can capture PM and improve air quality. In this study, we used two-way ANOVA to investigate the [...] Read more.
Particulate matter (PM), including PM10 and PM2.5, has a major impact on air quality and public health. It has been shown that trees can capture PM and improve air quality. In this study, we used two-way ANOVA to investigate the significance of micro-morphological leaf surface characteristics of green trees in capturing PM at different parks in Beijing. The results show that leaf structure significantly impacts the ability of plants to capture PM. Pinus tabuliformis Carr. and Pinus bungeana Zucc. were mainly impacted by the density of stomata, waxy cuticle, and epidermis, while the major contributor to PM retention in other test trees, including Acer truncatum Bunge, Salix matsudana Koid., Populus tomentosa Carr. and Ginkgo biloba Linn. was leaf roughness. There were significant variations in leaf-droplet contact angle (representative of leaf wettability) and the ability of trees to capture PM (p < 0.05): the bigger the contact angle, the less able the plant was to capture particulate matter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Trees to Pollutants)
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