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The impact of rainfall in remobilising particulate matter accumulated on leaves of four evergreen species grown on a green screen and a living wall

WEERAKKODY APPUHAMILLAGE, Udeshika, DOVER, John, MITCHELL, Paul and REILING, Kevin (2018) The impact of rainfall in remobilising particulate matter accumulated on leaves of four evergreen species grown on a green screen and a living wall. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. ISSN 16188667

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Abstract or description

Green walls have recently been identified as a green infrastructure (GI) solution to the problem of particulate matter (PM) air pollution. Green wall systems mostly use evergreen plants as the leaves are retained throughout the year; however, researchers have argued that evergreen foliage becomes saturated with PM and fails to capture more due to a long retention time on the leaves. This study evaluated the potential of (simulated) rainfall to remobilise these captured PM and renew the capture ability of the leaf surfaces of four evergreen species (Heuchera villosa Michx, Helleborus × sternii Turrill, Bergenia cordifolia (Haw.) Sternb., Hedera helix L.) used in a living wall and a green screen located along a busy road in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. The approach used compared PM densities on pre- and post-rain exposed leaf surfaces (using leaf halves of the same leaf) and using a paired t-test to identify any significant reduction in PM due to the rainfall. An Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) and ImageJ image analysis software were employed to quantify the PM densities on leaves. The reduction of PM on leaves, following exposure to 16 simulated rain in six different rainfall durations was estimated in all four species in order to evaluate any variable impact of rainfall on different species of plants. PM wash-off levels on leaves of H. helix by 41 rain was also evaluated, using the same rainfall durations, to assess any differential impact of rainfall intensity on PM wash-off. This study revealed a significant impact of rainfall in washing the particles off the leaves in all rainfall durations used. A one-way Anova in a General Linear Model showed a differential impact of rainfall in remobilising PM on different species of plants. The rainfall with higher intensity (41 showed a significantly higher impact on PM wash-off compared to 16 rain. The results of this study demonstrated the potential of green walls to act as good PM traps throughout the year by recycling their capture surfaces.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2018 12:57
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:51

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