Selection of Tolerant Plants and Their Arrangement to Restore a Forest Ecosystem Damaged by Air Pollution
- Cite this article as:
- Lee, C.S., Lee, K.S., Hwangbo, J.K. et al. Water Air Soil Pollut (2004) 156: 251. doi:10.1023/B:WATE.0000036815.93745.46
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Plants tolerant to polluted environments were selected, based on several criteria, to restore a coastal forest ecosystem severely damaged by air pollutants discharged from an industrial complex. In addition, a restoration plan was prepared synthesizing these results and the diagnostic ecological indicators in the area for which restoration is required. Pollution-tolerant plants of 11 tree and subtree species, 10 herb species and one shrub species were selected from field surveys in the vicinity of two representative industrial complexes in Korea, Ulsan and Yeocheon. Nine species were selected for tolerance to SO2 fumigation and six species were selected for tolerance to Al3+. Growth and photosynthetic responses of sample plants transplanted into polluted and unpolluted sites showed that 15 species out of the 26 sample plants showed a disposition for tolerance. Most of these are endemic plants and they are composed of diverse species in structure and function. This result implies that these tolerant species could play important roles in the restoration of the study area, which has several specific features. On the other hand, results from transplant tests indicate that a field survey is the most reasonable method for selection of tolerant plants to restore a pollution-damaged ecosystem, as was shown in another restoration program. Results of ecological analysis on vegetation map indicate that the spatial range within the first ridge is the sector for which restoration is required. This sector was classified into four zones on the basis of topographic conditions: lower and upper slopes of both slopes facing and opposite the pollution source. Guidelines for soil amelioration and arrangement of tolerant plants were prepared considering the degree of vegetation degradation, leaf damage of major plant species and soil pollution in each zone under the restoration plan.