Dust Particles and Aerosols: Impact on Biota “A Review” (Part II)

Document Type: Review and Short Length Article

Author

Ecology and Resources Group, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou

Abstract

This is the second of series on the impact of dust. It focuses on the physical, chemical and physiological effects of dust particles and aerosols. Plants of all types and classes (from algae to forest trees and everything in between) are adversely affected either directly through abrasion by airborne particles or through interference with plant physiology or indirectly through the impact on soil as particles are deposited in the soil surface with effects on the soil chemistry, soil texture and soil structure. The literature that is reviewed spans decades and the biomes from which examples are drawn cover regions from the Arctic Circle to the equator, from deserts to tropical rainforests. The physiological responses of plants underlie and precede ecological changes at the community level and these changes have implications for such important relationships as predator-prey as shelter food supply and other essential ecosystem services either cease to be provided or are severely curtailed. It was found that all species have maximum dust deposition in the winter season followed by summer and rainy seasons. Chlorophyll content decreased and ascorbic acid content increased with the increase of dust deposition. There was significant negative and positive correlation between dust deposition and chlorophyll and ascorbic acid content, respectively.

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