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Topographical structures in planting design of living walls affect their ability to immobilise traffic-based particulate matter

WEERAKKODY APPUHAMILLAGE, Udeshika, DOVER, John, MITCHELL, Paul and REILING, Kevin (2018) Topographical structures in planting design of living walls affect their ability to immobilise traffic-based particulate matter. science of the total environment. ISSN 0048-9697

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Abstract or description

Traffic-generated particulate matter (PM) pollution is a serious threat to human health and the environment, especially in urban settings. Recent studies have revealed the effectiveness of living walls in the reduction of this pollution; these systems use variable planting designs and their topographical dynamics might have an impact on PM dry deposition. This present study, employing an experimentally manipulable living wall system using box (Buxus sempervirens L.) plants, examined whether plants arranged in a design with heterogeneous topography have a differential PM removal capacity compared to plants in a design with homogenous topography. Two planting designs using ‘short’ and ‘tall’ plants, were simultaneously used on this living wall and equally exposed to traffic-based PM for 5 consecutive days. PM accumulation on leaves was estimated using an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope and ImageJ image analysis software. The experiment was replicated four times changing the position of each design on the wall, and any variation in PM capture levels on leaves belonging to different designs were identified using a Generalised Linear Mixed-effect Models (GLMM). The planting design with topographical heterogeneity resulted in significantly higher PM densities (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1) on leaf surfaces compared to a design with homogenous topography, indicating that topographical heterogeneity has a strong positive impact on the ability of plants to immobilise PM.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2019 09:54
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:53

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