Pollution Research Paper

Vol. 35, Issue 4, 2016; Page No.(739-747)

EFFECT OF AUTOMOBILE POLLUTION ON THE CHLOROPHYLL CONTENT OF OXALIS CORNICULATA L. LEAVES

GARETH GORDON SYNGAI, BANTEISKHEM KHARWANLANG, BADAPLANG SOHKHLET, ABIGAIL MAJAW LALOO, DANIEL NONGBRI , MANBHA CHALLAM AND HUNHAMESHISHA MAWROH

Abstract

The study was carried out to assess the effect of automobile pollution on the chlorophyll content of Oxalis corniculata L. leaves in Shillong city; for which leaf samples were collected from four sampling sites categorized on the basis of traffic density. The overall effect observed was that there was a reduction in the chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll content in the leaf samples collected from polluted sites when compared with the samples from the control novehicular traffic site; with chlorophyll b being more sensitive to the effect of pollution than chlorophyll a, but at the same time this was also highly dependent upon the altitude at which the particular plant was growing. This decline was again much higher in the month of November which is a post-monsoon period as compared to the pre-monsoon period in the month of March; and this observed decline may have further been accelerated by the phenomenon of chilling induced photo inhibition. On the contrary, there was no regular pattern or trend observed in the chlorophyll a/b ratio; which indicates that this parameter is not a reliable criterion for the assessment of air pollution damage to plants. The findings further revealed that plants growing at lower-altitudes exhibit a better adaptation to stress than those growing at higher-altitudes. Hence, the results of our study suggest that the leaves of Oxalis corniculata L. can be used as biomarkers for the assessment of automobile pollution.

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