Screening of Urban Plants for Monitoring Dust In Mumbai

Faqih A.G., Joshi N.C.*, Joshi A.N.


Foliar dust was collected from common plants, Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd., Ficus benjamina L. var nuda, Nerium odorum Aiton. and Pedilanthus tithymaloides Poit., growing along 81 road dividers and traffic islands. Dust was collected throughout the dry season form all the four above mentioned species. Statistical analysis showed Ficus benjamina L. var nuda was the best dust capturer with F = 56.75, P < 0.001, whereas the Tukey-Kramer test showed the same species to be the best dust retainer. Eight sites in the city of Mumbai which have been established to have high suspended particulate matter were selected for this study. The sites were selected on the basis of vehicular types and count. Foliar dust on Ficus benjamina L. var nuda was estimated throughout the dry season at these selected sites. Maximum dust was found at Borivali, Western Express Highway in the month of May, 2013 with the value 29.78g/m2. The amount of dust present on the surface of the leaves relate to vehicular count. The eight sites showed varied foliar dust values in the study. High values of foliar dust were in agreement with the existing conditions along the roadsides at different sites. Borivali site had high values of foliar dust due to construction activity along the highway, while Bandra showed high values due to it being a busy road with all types of vehicles plying. Hence Ficus benjamina L. var nuda can be used as a Phytomonitor of dust in this city.


Mumbai; Phytomonitor; Dust; SPM

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