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Seasonal Assessment of Biochemical Characteristics and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) Retention Potential of Plant Species
  • Durga Prasad Tripathi,
  • Arvind Kumar Nema
Durga Prasad Tripathi
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Arvind Kumar Nema
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology


Plants play a crucial role in mitigating air pollution, which can be evaluated by examining their biochemical characteristics, including ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll content, pH, and relative water content. These traits provide valuable insights into plants' capacity to counteract atmospheric pollutants. Moreover, combining air pollution tolerance and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) retention potentials could lead to an adequate assessment of plant species for greenbelt development. This study assessed biochemical characteristics and SPM retention potential of six selected plant species (Ficus benghalensis L, Ficus religiosa L, Polyalthia longifolia (Sonn.) Thwaites, Azadirachta indica A.Juss, Ficus benjamina L, and Bougainvillea glabra) at polluted (Okhla Phase-2) and non-polluted (Siri Fort) sites in Delhi, India, during pre- and post-monsoon. In addition, based on biochemical characteristics, the Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) of selected plant species has been calculated. Also, the impact of changes in independent variables such as the relative water content, ascorbic acid, pH, and total chlorophyll content on the APTI of different plant species was assessed using linear regression. The study found that A.indica exhibited the highest APTI of 9.43 and F.benghalensis the lowest APTI of 8.3 during pre- and post-monsoon. Also, the maximum and minimum recorded values of the total SPM adhesion on the leaves of F. benghalensis and F. religiosa during pre- and post-monsoon were 1305.46 g/cm2 and 185.51 g/cm2, respectively. Additionally, in the statistical analysis, the highest linear regression coefficient (R2 = 0.93) was observed between ascorbic & total chlorophyll content with APTI, indicating a substantial impact on the APTI calculation of these biochemical parameters. This study demonstrated that plants with elevated biochemical parameters, APTI, and SPM retention potential can effectively reduce air pollutants from the atmosphere. These findings highlight the importance of considering specific biochemical characteristics and SPM retention potential when selecting plant species for greenbelt development.
15 Mar 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
15 Mar 2024Published in ESS Open Archive