Special Issue "Air Pollution in Urban Areas Impacts on Vegetation and Ecosystems"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 5342

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Su Young Woo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Horticulture, College of Natural Sciences, University of Seoul, 163, Seoulsiripdae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02504, Korea
Interests: air pollution effects on plants; particular matter effects on vegetation; antioxidant mechanism on plants
Dr. Jae Hyoung Cho
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Director of Forest Human Service Division, Future Forest Strategy Department, National Institute of Forest Science, 57 Hoegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02455, Korea
Interests: plant biology; urban forest; forest healing
Prof. Dr. Myeong Ja Kwak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Horticulture, College of Natural Sciences, University of Seoul, 163, Seoulsiripdae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02504, Korea
Interests: stress physiology; light effects on vegetation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollutants and greenhouse gases have common sources and are diffused all over the world, affecting ecosystems. During recent years, an increase in the air pollutant precursor for photochemical reactions has increased the effects of air pollution stress in the troposphere on plants. Especially in developing countries, where the current ambient air pollutant concentrations are high, due to rapid urbanization and an increase in fossil fuel consumption over the past decades, this increase could be harmful to plant growth and human health in urban ecosystems.

The impacts of air pollution on the physiological, morphological, and biochemical properties of plants have been investigated in several studies. Air pollutants generally enter leaves through the stomata and have negative impacts on the growth of plants, leading to a reduction in plant productivity [1].

Visible injury to leaves can take the form of white stippling, necrotic tip burn, and tiny purple, yellow, brown, or black spots. These symptoms are indicative of a loss of vitality in the vegetation. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a result of air pollution concentrations in plants reduces the growth of plants by severely compromising the integrity of metabolically important membranes. ROS from air pollution can also be combined with signaling pathways, which affects the response of plants to oxygen stresses and can even cause programmed cell death. These physiological disorders by long-term air pollutant exposure can result in lower quality in crops, due to a restriction of carbon storage. In addition, airborne pollens which originate from urban vegetation and particular matters produced by industrial areas are widespread during the growing season. The density of air pollutants such as ozone, CO2, NOx, SO2, airborne pollens and particular matters is highly correlated with the prevalence of allergies [2].

This Special Issue includes topics on the combined and interactive effects of air pollution and climate change on vegetation and ecosystems, the discrimination of species-specific physiological behavior in relation to air pollution, the impacts of elevated CO2 and nitrogen deposition on several forests, photosynthetic responses to elevated air pollutants, and air pollution-induced effects on the forests of several countries. There is evidence that effects of air pollutants on urban forests can be seen as a multi-pollutant, multi-effect problem for urban forest ecosystems. The combined effects may significantly differ from a sum of separate effects. Plants ecologists, physiologists, physicists, meteorologists, environmentalists, and any other researchers are welcome to submit papers.

  1. Woo, S.Y; Hinckley, T.M. The effects of ozone on growth and stomatal response in the F2 generation of hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpa × Populus deltoides). Biol. Plant. 2005, 49, 395–404.
  2. Kim, I.R.; Kwak, M.J.; Lee, J. K.; Lim, Y.J.; Park, S.H.; Kim, H.D.; Lee K.A.; Woo S.Y. Flowering phenology and characteristics of pollen aeroparticles of Quercus species in Korea. Forests 2020, 11, 232.


Prof. Dr. Su Young Woo
Dr. Jae Hyoung Cho
Prof. Dr. Myeong Ja Kwak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • air pollution
  • vegetation
  • ecosystem
  • climate change

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Could Air Quality Get Better during Epidemic Prevention and Control in China? An Analysis Based on Regression Discontinuity Design
Land 2021, 10(4), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040373 - 04 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
Though many scholars and practitioners are paying more attention to the health and life of the public after the COVID-19 outbreak, extant literature has so far failed to explore the variation of ambient air quality during this pandemic. The current study attempts to [...] Read more.
Though many scholars and practitioners are paying more attention to the health and life of the public after the COVID-19 outbreak, extant literature has so far failed to explore the variation of ambient air quality during this pandemic. The current study attempts to fill the gap by disentangling the causal effects of epidemic prevention on air quality in China, measured by the individual pollutant dimensionless index, from other confounding factors. Using the fixed effects model, this article finds that five air indicators, PM2.5, PM10, CO, NO2, and SO2, significantly improved during the shutdown period, with NO2 showing the most improvement. On the contrary, O3 shows an inverse pattern, that is, O3 gets worse unexpectedly. The positive impact of epidemic prevention on air quality, especially in terms of PM2.5, PM10, and NO2, become manifest five days after the resumption of labor, indicated by the result of a regression discontinuity design. These findings are still robust and consistent after the dataset of 2019 as a counterfactual sample is utilized. The findings of this paper make contributions to both environmental governance and pandemic prevention, with relevant guidelines regarding the health and life of the public and governmental behavioral management strategies discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Urban Areas Impacts on Vegetation and Ecosystems)
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Article
Ozone Response of Leaf Physiological and Stomatal Characteristics in Brassica juncea L. at Supraoptimal Temperatures
Land 2021, 10(4), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040357 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
Plants are affected by the features of their surrounding environment, such as climate change and air pollution caused by anthropogenic activities. In particular, agricultural production is highly sensitive to environmental characteristics. Since no environmental factor is independent, the interactive effects of these factors [...] Read more.
Plants are affected by the features of their surrounding environment, such as climate change and air pollution caused by anthropogenic activities. In particular, agricultural production is highly sensitive to environmental characteristics. Since no environmental factor is independent, the interactive effects of these factors on plants are essential for agricultural production. In this context, the interactive effects of ozone (O3) and supraoptimal temperatures remain unclear. Here, we investigated the physiological and stomatal characteristics of leaf mustard (Brassica juncea L.) in the presence of charcoal-filtered (target concentration, 10 ppb) and elevated (target concentration, 120 ppb) O3 concentrations and/or optimal (22/20 °C day/night) and supraoptimal temperatures (27/25 °C). Regarding physiological characteristics, the maximum rate of electron transport and triose phosphate use significantly decreased in the presence of elevated O3 at a supraoptimal temperature (OT conditions) compared with those in the presence of elevated O3 at an optimal temperature (O conditions). Total chlorophyll content was also significantly affected by supraoptimal temperature and elevated O3. The chlorophyll a/b ratio significantly reduced under OT conditions compared to C condition at 7 days after the beginning of exposure (DAE). Regarding stomatal characteristics, there was no significant difference in stomatal pore area between O and OT conditions, but stomatal density under OT conditions was significantly increased compared with that under O conditions. At 14 DAE, the levels of superoxide (O2-), which is a reactive oxygen species, were significantly increased under OT conditions compared with those under O conditions. Furthermore, leaf weight was significantly reduced under OT conditions compared with that under O conditions. Collectively, these results indicate that temperature is a key driver of the O3 response of B. juncea via changes in leaf physiological and stomatal characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Urban Areas Impacts on Vegetation and Ecosystems)
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Article
Morpho-Physio-Biochemical Attributes of Roadside Trees as Potential Tools for Biomonitoring of Air Quality and Environmental Health in Urban Areas
Land 2021, 10(3), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030236 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
Environmental pollution is an important issue in metropolitan areas, and roadside trees are directly affected by various sources of pollution to which they exhibit numerous responses. The aim of the present study was to identify morpho-physio-biochemical attributes of maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba [...] Read more.
Environmental pollution is an important issue in metropolitan areas, and roadside trees are directly affected by various sources of pollution to which they exhibit numerous responses. The aim of the present study was to identify morpho-physio-biochemical attributes of maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba L.) and American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) growing under two different air quality conditions (roadside with high air pollution, RH and roadside with low air pollution, RL) and to assess the possibility of using their physiological and biochemical parameters as biomonitoring tools in urban areas. The results showed that the photosynthetic rate, photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiencies, and photochromic contents were generally low in RH in both G. biloba and P. occidentalis. However, water-use efficiency and leaf temperature showed high values in RH trees. Among biochemical parameters, in G. biloba, the lipid peroxide content was higher in RH than in RL trees, but in P. occidentalis, this content was lower in RH than in RL trees. In both species, physiological activities were low in trees planted in areas with high levels of air pollution, whereas their biochemical and morphological variables showed different responses to air pollution. Thus, we concluded that it is possible to determine species-specific physiological variables affected by regional differences of air pollution in urban areas, and these findings may be helpful for monitoring air quality and environmental health using trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Urban Areas Impacts on Vegetation and Ecosystems)
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