GROWTH CHARACTERISTICS OF BEAN (PHASEOLUS VULGARIS L.) PLANT EXPOSED TO BLACK CARBON UNDER DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONSKARTHIK VENKATRAMAN, VIJAY BHASKAR, B. AND ARUNKUMAR MOHAN
Urbanization has created stressed conditions for the vegetation by inducing air pollution through automobile use. However, the role of fine particulate matter inclusive of black carbon interaction in the growth of a plant is less understood. Hence the effect of atmospheric and terrestrial black carbon particulate interaction with a plant is attempted. Simulation experiments were carried out to understand the plant-soil and air-soil interaction towards the deposition of particulate aerosols. Plant soil interaction is studied through carbon black employment in potted plants. While air-plant interaction is studied through wind-tunnel experiments and open road-side potted plants. Leaf traits such as leaf surface area, length, and width are studied through imaging techniques. Further, morphological and chemical aspects of deposited particulates are studied by employing SEM-EDX analysis. Dominance in plant growth is observed in a natural environment with a shoot reaching 38.6cm at the end of the experiment. Reduced growth is observed in stressed outdoor followed by indoor conditions. Analysis by leaf traits showed that leaf surface area, length, and width were lower in plants growing under stressed conditions than the non-stressed conditions. The morphological and source apportionment of plant deposited particulate indicates that the source was mainly from biomass burning, vehicular, and road dust which is a characteristic of our study region. Further, an additional approach of implementing carbon black for plants under stressed condition is attempted which tend to show better results in plant growth even under stressed conditions. Future works to consider other gaseous pollutants, plant scale effects, and efficient usage of carbon black can help unveil a wide-ranging of possibility towards the creation of sustainable and polluted adapted plant species.