PLANT BIOCHEMICAL RESPONSES AND BIOMONITORING OF AIR POLLUTION AROUND THERMA POWER WANTS AT KORBA, MADHYA PRADESHA. J. Williams, S. K. Banerjee and B. N. Gupta
Coal fired thermal power plants at Korba became operative in the year 1983. Combustion of coal yields gaseous as well as particulate products polluting the ecosystem. Biochemical responses of plants grown in and around Korba power plants were studied. A strong correlation between the intensity of air pollution and various forms of manifestations of different plant species growing in the area was observed. There was an overall reduction in chlorophyll, ascorbic acid, earotinoid and protein contents and an increase in sugar and sulphate contents of 12 plant species studied. Some plants viz., Ficus religiosa, Terminalia arjuna, Shorea robusta Azadirachta indica, Ficus hengaknsis and Butea monosperma showed specific resistance to the prevalent pollutant concentration. The sensitive species were Madhuca indica, Syzygium cuniinii, Mangifera indica, Pongamia pinnata, Diospyros melanoxylon and Terminalia tomentosa. The biochemical changes in plants due to pollution provide information for detection, recognition and monitoring of air pollutants. The sensitive plants may be used as indicator plants for future plants biomonitoring programmes. On the other hand, the resistant species may be selected for afforestation programme to combat the environmental pollution in the thermal power emission polluted areas.
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