Function: Retention of small particles
Vegetation acts as a filter by adsorbing and absorbing impurities from the air. Especially trees are effective due to their large canopies and great surface roughness. Also some soil microorganisms improve air quality.
PHYSIOLOGICAL DAMAGE ON TREES
Large concentration of air pollutants may cause variety of physiological damage in trees in addition to the increased toxicity mentioned above. Fine particles may block the stomata, which decreases the gas exchange of the plant and thus its vital functions. The particle cover on vegetation surfaces may disrupt also pollination, bud break and light reflectance, increase sensitivity to pathogens and alter genetic structure in the long run.
Beckett, K. P., Freer-Smith, P. H., Taylor, G. 1998. Urban woodlands: their role in reducing the effects of particulate pollution. Environmental pollution. Volume 99, Issue 3. pp. 347–360.
- Updated (20.01.2015)