Impacts Of Vehicle Emissions on Vegetation
Pollutants derived from vehicle emissions now pose a major threat to human health and urban ecology. This project aims to evaluate the impacts of urban pollutants on vegetation, water relations and plant-insect interactions to provide generic information for future remediation and conservation of vegetation in urban areas. Specifically the project aims to:
The project will use both in situ and controlled environment experiments. It will evaluate impacts on a range of vegetation of contrasting morphologies and functional types. The controlled experiments will be conducted in the Solardome exposure system developed in a previous URGENT feasibility study. The in situ experiments will be carried out at sites in Newcastle, Manchester and Central London.
The Newcastle In Situ Studies - effects of urban pollutants on urban shrubs
Transects will be set up on a major road/open parkland interface near the University where traffic densities and pollutants are monitored. Insecticides will be used to manipulate effects of hervibory on established vegetation. Impacts of pollution atmospheres on leaf surfaces, growth and physiological processes will be assessed.
Imperial College experiments in the Natural History Museum Wildlife Garden
This group will examine the effects of urban pollutants on herbaceous plant species. Transects will be set up within the established wildlife garden and pots of other herbaceous plants will be added. A range of plant growth and physiological factors will be monitored. The effects of artificially increased daylength through street lighting will be assessed
Manchester in Situ Studies - effects of urban pollutants on trees
This study will investigate the health of plants along existing gradients. Plant growth and physiological aspects will be monitored.
Bradford University – effects on lichens and bryophytes
Impacts of vehicle pollutants, directly or indirectly via changes in bark chemistry, will be assessed by transplanting lichen and bryophyte species from relatively unpolluted sites in North Wales to the Solardomes and field sites of other collaborators.
The Solardome provides realistic urban atmospheres, including VOCs and particulates. A range of species, including those in the field based trials will be exposed in the Solardome. Impacts of pollution treatments will be measured including visible injury, leaf canopy development and turnover, rates of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance. The Solardomes will be used to conduct controlled complementary studies to confirm in situ effects from the field monitoring and experiments.
October 1999 Three years
University of Newcastle
Imperial College London
University of Bradford
Manchester Metropolitan University
All experimental data will be placed on an Oracle based Integrated Data System to facilitate access and transfer to other users. The project will bring the following benefits/deliverables:
Countryside Council for Wales
Further information is available from the following contacts:
Lead Researcher: Professor T.W. Ashenden
Tel: 01248 370045, Fax: 01248 355365, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
URGENT Programme Manager: Graham Leeks
Tel: 01491 692203, Fax: 01491 692313, e-mail: email@example.com