Evaluating deciduous tree leaves as biomonitors for ambient particulate matter pollution in Pittsburgh, PA, USA
- 82 Downloads
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution varies spatially and temporally in concentration and composition and has been shown to cause or exacerbate adverse effects on human and ecological health. Biomonitoring using airborne tree leaf deposition as a proxy for particulate matter (PM) pollution has been explored using a variety of study designs, tree species, sampling strategies, and analytical methods. In the USA, relatively few have applied these methods using co-located fine particulate measurements for comparison and relying on one tree species with extensive spatial coverage, to capture spatial variation in ambient air pollution across an urban area. Here, we evaluate the utility of this approach, using a spatial saturation design and pairing tree leaf samples with filter-based PM2.5 across Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the goal of distinguishing mobile and stationary sources using PM2.5 composition. Co-located filter and leaf-based measurements revealed some significant associations with traffic and roadway proximity indicators. We compared filter and leaf samples with differing protection from the elements (e.g., meteorology) and PM collection time, which may account for some variance in PM source and/or particle size capture between samples. To our knowledge, this study is among the first to use deciduous tree leaves from a single tree species as biomonitors for urban PM2.5 pollution in the northeastern USA.
KeywordsBiomonitoring Deciduous tree leaves Particulate matter Urban particulate pollution
particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm
particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm
United States Department of Agriculture
United States Geological Survey
liters per minute
inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry
anhysteretic remanent magnetization
median destructive field of ARM
saturation isothermal remanent magnetization
median destructive field of SIRM
median destructive field of isothermal remanent magnetization
amperes per meter squared
- SD (from tables)
exploratory factor analysis
- US EPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency
scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive x-ray analysis
particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 1.0 μm
tapered element oscillating microbalance and filter dynamics measurement system
The authors are grateful to Kyra Naumoff Shields from Colorado State University and Joshua Feinberg from University of Minnesota Institute for Rock Magnetism for their mentorship over the course of the study and magnetic analyses, respectively. We also thank Jeffrey Howell for his effort on the pilot study presented in the SI. In addition, we acknowledge Duquesne Light Company for granting monitoring permissions for poles and Tree Pittsburgh for providing street tree data for the study design.
JEC, SEG, and LKC were primarily responsible for study design; BJT, DRM, JLCS, and LKC were responsible for the GIS-based portion of study design; JEC oversaw aspects of study design and implementation. SEG, DRM, LKC, BJT, and ST carried out all fieldwork. SEG and LKC completed all laboratory analyses, with guidance from MJ and DJB. SEG performed statistical analyses with the guidance from JEC, JLCS, BJT, DRM, and ST. All authors have contributed to, read, and approved the final manuscript.
This work was supported by internal University of Pittsburgh Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Funds, University of Pittsburgh Central Research Development Funds, a University of Minnesota Institute for Rock Magnetism fellowship award, and The Heinz Endowments.
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Aksoy, A., Osma, E., & Leblebici, Z. (2012). Spreading pellitory (Parietaria judaica L.): a possible biomonitor of heavy metal pollution. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 44, 123–127.Google Scholar
- Bell, M. L. (2012). Assessment of the health impacts of particulate matter characteristics. Research Report (Health Effects Institute)(161): 5–38.Google Scholar
- City of Lebanon Public Works Department. (2002). Street Tree policy and potential street tree guide: 37.Google Scholar
- Clougherty, J. E., Kheirbek, I., Eisl, H. M., Ross, Z., Pezeshki, G., Gorczynski, J. E., Johnson, S., Markowitz, S., Kass, D., & Matte, T. (2013). Intra-urban spatial variability in wintertime street-level concentrations of multiple combustion-related air pollutants: the New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS). Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 23(3), 232–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group. (2000). Norway maple invasive plant information sheet. from http://www.hort.uconn.edu/cipwg/pdfs/norway_maple.pdf.
- Dalton, R. (2012). ImageJ protocol for calculation of leaf surface area: 4.Google Scholar
- Davey Resource Group (2008). City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania municipal forest resource analysisGoogle Scholar
- Dunlop, D. J. and Ö. Özdemir. (1997). Rock Magnetism fundamentals and frontiers. Cambridge Books Online, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Eeftens, M., Tsai, M.-Y., Ampe, C., Anwander, B., Beelen, R., Bellander, T., Cesaroni, G., Cirach, M., Cyrys, J., & de Hoogh, K. (2012). Spatial variation of PM2. 5, PM10, PM2. 5 absorbance and PMcoarse concentrations between and within 20 European study areas and the relationship with NO2—results of the ESCAPE project. Atmospheric Environment, 62, 303–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gesch, D. (2007). The National Elevation Dataset. In Digital elevation model technologies and applications: the DEM users manual. Bethesda: American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.Google Scholar
- Gillooly, S. E., Shmool, J. L. C., Michanowicz, D. R., Bain, D. J., Cambal, L. K., Shields, K. N., & Clougherty, J. E. (2016). Framework for using deciduous tree leaves as biomonitors for intraurban particulate air pollution in exposure assessment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 188(8), 479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gubbins, D. and E. Herrero-Bervera (2007). Encyclopedia of geomagnetism and paleomagnetism. Springer.Google Scholar
- Hsu, S.-C., Liu, S. C., Jeng, W.-L., Lin, F.-J., Huang, Y.-T., Lung, S.-C. C., Liu, T.-H., & Tu, J.-Y. (2005). Variations of Cd/Pb and Zn/Pb ratios in Taipei aerosols reflecting long-range transport or local pollution emissions. Science of the Total Environment, 347(1), 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jackson, M., & Solheid, P. (2010). On the quantitative analysis and evaluation of magnetic hysteresis data. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 11(4).Google Scholar
- Könczöl, M., Ebeling, S., Goldenberg, E., Treude, F., Gminski, R., Gieré, R., Grobéty, B., Rothen-Rutishauser, B., Merfort, I., & Mersch-Sundermann, V. (2011). Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of size-fractionated iron oxide (magnetite) in A549 human lung epithelial cells: role of ROS, JNK, and NF-κB. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 24(9), 1460–1475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Maatoug, M., K. Taïbi, A. Akermi, M. Achir and M. Mestrari (2012). Bio-monitoring of air quality using leaves of tree and lichens in urban environments.Google Scholar
- Maher, B. A., Ahmed, I. A., Karloukovski, V., MacLaren, D. A., Foulds, P. G., Allsop, D., Mann, D. M., Torres-Jardón, R., & Calderon-Garciduenas, L. (2016). Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(39), 10797–10801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Matte, T. D., Ross, Z., Kheirbek, I., Eisl, H., Johnson, S., Gorczynski, J. E., Kass, D., Markowitz, S., Pezeshki, G., & Clougherty, J. E. (2013). Monitoring intraurban spatial patterns of multiple combustion air pollutants in New York City: design and implementation. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 23(3), 223–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Moskowitz, B. M. (1991). Hitchhiker’s guide to magnetism. Environmental Magnetism Workshop (IRM).Google Scholar
- Munger, G. T. (2003). Acer platanoides. In: Fire effects information system, [Online]. Retrieved August 5, 2019, from https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/acepla/all.html.
- National Institute of Health. (2004, 17 Nov 2004). ImageJ image processing and analysis in Java. 2012, from http://imagej.nih.gov/ij/download.html.
- Nowak, D. J., & Rowntree, R. A. (1990). History and range of Norway maple. Journal of Arboriculture, 16(11), 291–296.Google Scholar
- O’Brien, E. and U. Partner (2011). Chronology of leaded gasoline/leaded petrol history.Google Scholar
- Peltier, R. E., Cromar, K. R., Ma, Y., Fan, Z. H., & Lippmann, M. (2011). Spatial and seasonal distribution of aerosol chemical components in New York City: (2) road dust and other tracers of traffic-generated air pollution. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 21(5), 484–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Peng, R. D., Bell, M. L., Geyh, A. S., McDermott, A., Zeger, S. L., Samet, J. M., & Dominici, F. (2009). Emergency admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and the chemical composition of fine particle air pollution. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117(6), 957–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. (2012). Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. Pennsylvania State Roads. 2012, from http://www.pasda.psu.edu/uci/SearchResults.aspx?originator=Pennsylvania+Department+of+Transportation.
- Raven, P. H. J., & George, B. (2002). Biology (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Shmool, J. L., Michanowicz, D. R., Cambal, L., Tunno, B., Howell, J., Gillooly, S., Roper, C., Tripathy, S., Chubb, L. G., & Eisl, H. M. (2014). Saturation sampling for spatial variation in multiple air pollutants across an inversion-prone metropolitan area of complex terrain. Environmental Health, 13(1), 28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Spagnolo, A. M., Ottria, G., Perdelli, F., & Cristina, M. L. (2015). Chemical characterisation of the coarse and fine particulate matter in the environment of an underground railway system: cytotoxic effects and oxidative stress—a preliminary study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(4), 4031–4046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Šućur, K. M., Aničić, M. P., Tomašević, M. N., Antanasijević, D. Z., Perić-Grujić, A. A., & Ristić, M. D. (2010). Urban deciduous tree leaves as biomonitors of trace element (As, V and Cd) atmospheric pollution in Belgrade, Serbia. Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society, 75(10), 1453–1461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- The European Commission Directorate-General for Environment. (July 8, 2019). Air Quality Standards. Retrieved August 18, 2019, from https://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/quality/standards.htm.
- Tunno, B. J., Dalton, R., Michanowicz, D. R., Shmool, J. L., Kinnee, E., Tripathy, S., Cambal, L., & Clougherty, J. E. (2016). Spatial patterning in PM 2.5 constituents under an inversion-focused sampling design across an urban area of complex terrain. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 26(4), 385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (December 20, 2016). NAAQS table. Retrieved August 21, 2019, from https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants/naaqs-table.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (November 30, 2018). Outdoor air quality data. Retrieved August 10, 2019, from https://www.epa.gov/outdoor-air-quality-data/download-daily-data.
- US Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.-a) Filter conditioning and weighing facilities and procedures for PM2.5 reference and class I equivalent methods, from https://www3.epa.gov/ttnamti1/files/ambient/pm25/qa/balance.pdf.
- US Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.-b) National Emissions inventory 2008. from http://www3.epa.gov/ttnchie1/net/2008inventory.html.
- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. (2019). Pittsburgh street tree inventory. 2012, from https://waterlandlife.org/trees/treevitalize-pittsburgh/pittsburgh-street-tree-inventory/.