Foliar Nutrient Contents in Tree Species of the Atlantic Rain Forest as Influenced by Air Pollution from the Industrial Complex of Cubatão, SE-Brazil

Klumpp, A.; Domingos, M.; Klumpp, G.
January 2002
Water, Air & Soil Pollution;Jan2002, Vol. 133 Issue 1-4, p315
Academic Journal
Air pollutant emissions from the industrial complex of Cubatão, SE-Brazil, have caused a severe decline of the Atlantic Forest in that region. In order to test the influence of air pollution on the mineral nutrition of trees, leaves of the native species Tibouchina pulchra Cogn. (Melastomataceae), Miconia pyrifolia Naud. (Melastomataceae) and Cecropia glazioui Snethl. (Cecropiaceae) were sampled during winter and summer seasons at four sites with different pollution characteristics. Additionally, saplings of T. pulchra were cultivated in uniform soil and exposed to ambient air at the same experimental sites for periods of 16 weeks. In both kinds of leaf samples, the concentrations of macro-nutrients were determined and nutrient ratios calculated. In leaves of mature T. pulchra and C. glazioui growing at polluted sites N, P and S levels were significantly higher than in trees from the reference area. With respect to K contents, C. glazioui showed an increase, T. pulchra a decrease when compared to reference trees. Mg and Ca concentrations generally did not exhibit great variations. As a consequence of the changes in mineral contents nutrient ratios (N/K, N/Ca, S/K, S/Ca) shifted to higher values. The results of the exposure experiments together with data on pollutant concentrations in ambient air and rain water demonstrated that atmospheric deposition to the plants and pollution effects on the soil chemistry are the main reasons for the observed alterations in mineral nutrition of trees.


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