Variation in the Ability of Various Tree Species to Capture Particulate Matter in Industrial and Urban Areas

Maisnam Sushima Devi

Department of Environmental Sciences, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

M. Prasanthrajan *

Centre for Agricultural Nanotechnology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

A. Bharani

Department of Environmental Sciences, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

N. Sritharan

Department of Rice, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

D. Jeya Sundara Sharmila

Centre for Agricultural Nanotechnology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

M. Maheswari

Department of Environmental Sciences, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


There are several short- and long-term negative effects on human health caused by the well-known pollutant known as particulate matter (PM), which also significantly contributes to urban air pollution. Trees can act as a sustainable air purifying filter by adsorbing and absorbing tiny airborne dust. Their effectiveness is influenced by a number of variables, including particulate matter concentration and leaf features of tree species. In this study, the particulate matter capturing capacity of commonly grown 20 tree species were compared and the best tree species were chosen for the urban plantation to reduce particulate matter pollution. In this study, Ficus bengalensis (0.67 mg/cm2), Mangifera indica (0.61 mg/cm2), Polyalthia longifolia (0.57 mg/cm2), Tectona grandis (0.66 mg/cm2) and Terminalia catappa (0.63 mg/cm2) were found to be the best tree species among the 20 tree species and also it was confirmed that morphological characteristics of tree leaves plays an important role in capturing the particulate matter from the atmosphere. In conclusion, our findings may help in the selection of greening tree species with strong particulate matter purifying capacities for both industrial and urban areas.

Keywords: Industry, macromorphological, micromorphological, particulate matter

How to Cite

Devi , Maisnam Sushima, M. Prasanthrajan, A. Bharani, N. Sritharan, D. Jeya Sundara Sharmila, and M. Maheswari. 2023. “Variation in the Ability of Various Tree Species to Capture Particulate Matter in Industrial and Urban Areas”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (10):37-46.


Download data is not yet available.


Wei X, Lyu S, Yu Y, Wang Z, Liu H, Pan D, Chen J. Phylloremediation of air pollutants: Exploiting the potential of plant leaves and leaf-associated microbes. Front Plant Sci. 2017;8:1–23.

Shrestha S, Baral B, Dhital NB, Yang HH. Assessing air pollution tolerance of plant species in vegetation traffic barriers in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Sustainable Environment Research. 2021;31(1).

Panda LL, Aggarwal RK. Assessment of air pollution tolerance index and anticipated performance index of plants growing alongside the roads in sub temperate condition of Himachal Pradesh, India. Int J Curr Microbiol App Sci. 2018;7(10):79-93.

Bui HT, Odsuren U, Kwon KJ, Kim SY, Yang JC, Jeong NR, Park BJ. Assessment of air pollution tolerance and particulate matter accumulation of 11 woody plant species. Atmosphere. 2021;12(8):1067.

Yin H, Xu LY. Comparative study of PM10/PM2.5-bound PAHs in downtown Beijing, China: concentrations, sources, and health risks. J. Clean. Prod. 2018;177:674–683.

Han D, Shen H, Duan W, Chen L. A review on particulate matter removal capacity by urban forests at different scales. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 2020;48:126565.

Latwal M, Sharma S, Kaur I, Nagpal AK. Global assessment of air pollution indices of trees and shrubs for biomonitoring and green belt development–A tabulated review. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2023;234(3):205.

Cai M, Xin Z, Yu X. Spatio-temporal variations in PM leaf deposition: A meta-analysis. Environmental Pollution. 2017;231:207-218.

Li H, Ji H, Shi C, Gao Y, Zhang Y, Xu X, Xing Y. Distribution of heavy metals and metalloids in bulk and particle size fractions of soils from coal-mine brownfield and implications on human health. Chemosphere. 2017;172:505-515.

Nowak DJ, Hirabayashi S, Doyle M, McGovern M, Pasher J. Air pollution removal by urban forests in Canada and its effect on air quality and human health. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 2018;29:40–48.

Hariram M, Sahu R, Elumalai SP. Impact assessment of atmospheric dust on foliage pigments and pollution resistances of plants grown nearby coal based thermal power plants. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2018; 74(1):56–70.

Singh A, Sarin SM, Shanmugam P, Sharma N, Attri AK, Jain VK. Ozone distribution in the urban environment of Delhi during winter months. Atmospheric Environment. 1997;31(20): 3421-3427.

Chaurasia M, Patel K, Tripathi I, Rao KS. Impact of dust accumulation on the physiological functioning of selected herbaceous plants of Delhi. India. Environmental Science and Pollution Research; 2022.

Zhang W, Wang B, Niu X. Relationship between leaf surface characteristics and particle capturing capacities of different tree species in Beijing. Forests. 2017;8(3):92.

Sgrigna G, Sæbø A, Gawronski S, Popek R, Calfapietra C. Particulate Matter deposition on Quercus ilex leaves in an industrial city of central Italy. Environmental Pollution. 2015;197:187-194.

Nurmamat K, Halik U, Baidourela A, Nasirdin N. Characterization and valuation of dust retention of the main species of strect trees in Aksu City. Scientia Silvae Sinicae. 2017;53(1):101-106.

Wang B, Zhang WK, Niu X, Wang XY. Particulate matter adsorption capacity of 10 evergreen species in Beijing. Environmental Science. 2015;36(2):408-414.

Perini K, Ottele M, Giulini S, Magliocco A, Roccotiello E. Quantification of fine dust deposition on different plant species in a vertical greening system. Ecological Engineering. 2017;100:268–276.

Bharti SK, Trivedi A, Kumar N. Air pollution tolerance index of plants growing near an industrial site. Urban Climate. 2018;24: 820-829.

Prusty BAK, Mishra PC, Azeez PA. Dust accumulation and leaf pigment content in vegetation near the national highway at Sambalpur, Orissa, India. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 2005;60(2):228-235.

Ahmad I, Abdullah B, Dole JM, Shahid M, Ziaf K. Evaluation of the air pollution tolerance index of ornamentals growing in an industrial area compared to a less polluted area. Horticulture Environment and Biotechnology. 2019;60(4):595–601.

Begum A, Harikrishna S. Evaluation of some tree species to absorb air pollutants in three industrial locations of South Bengaluru, India. E-journal of Chemistry. 2010;7(S1):S151-S156.

Chaudhary CS, Rao DN. A study of some factors in plants controlling their susceptibility to sulphur dioxide pollution. Proc Indian Natl Sci Acad. 1977;46:236–241.

Katz M. Methods for air sampling and analysis, 2nd edn. APHA, Washington, DC; 1997.

Kaur M, Nagpal AK. Evaluation of air pollution tolerance index and anticipated performance index of plants and their application in development of green space along the urban areas. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2017;24(23): 18881–18895.

Margeson JH, Beard ME, Suggs JC. Evaluation of the sodium arsenite method for measurement of NO2 in ambient air. J Air Pollut Control Assoc. 1977;27(6):553–556.

Patel K, Bidalia A, Tripathi I, Gupta Y, Arora P, Rao KS. Effect of heat stress on wild type and A7a knockout mutant Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Vegetos. 2021;1-11.

Popek R, Łukowski A, Bates C, Oleksyn J. Particulate matter, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons accumulation on the leaves of Tilia cordata Mill. in five Polish cities with different level of air pollution. International journal of phytoremediation. 2017;19(12):1134-1141.

Rai PK. Particulate matter tolerance of plants (APTI and API) in a biodiversity hotspot located in a tropical region: Implications for eco-control. Part Sci Technol. 2019;38(2):193–202.

Sen DN, Bhandari MC. Ecological and water relation to two Citrullus spp. In: Althawadi AM (ed) Indian arid zone. Environphysiol and Ecolo of Plants. 1978;203–228.

Singh S, Pandey B, Roy LB, Shekhar S, Singh RK. Tree responses to foliar dust deposition and gradient of air pollution around opencast coal mines of Jharia coalfeld, India: Gas exchange, antioxidative potential and tolerance level. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2021;28(7):8637–8651.

Terzaghi E, Wild E, Zacchello G, Cerabolini BE, Jones KC, Di Guardo A. Forest filter effect: Role of leaves in capturing/releasing air particulate matter and its associated PAHs. Atmospheric Environment. 2013;74:378-384.

Uka UN, Belford EJD, Hogarh JN. Roadside air pollution in a tropical city: Physiological and biochemical response from trees. Bulletin of the National Research Centre. 2019;43(1).

West PW, Gaeke GC. Fixation of sulfur dioxide as disulfitomercurate (II) and subsequent colorimetric estimation. Anal Chem. 1956;28(12):1816–1819.

Yadav R, Pandey P. Assessment of air pollution tolerance index (APTI) and anticipated performance index (API) of roadside plants for the development of greenbelt in urban area of Bathinda City, Punjab, India. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2020; 105(6):906–914.