Stone crushing processes release particulates and associated noxious substances in our surroundings that are continuously destructing environmental conditions and ecosystem health. Morpho-anatomical changes in some medicinally important native species (Aerva javanica, Calotropis procera, Digera muricata, Euphorbia prostrata, Euploca strigosa, and Peganum harmala) exposed to heavy dust pollution were evaluated. These species selected on the basis of their ubiquitous distribution in the area. Two sites were selected in the Kirana Hills, Sargodha, one near stone crushers within 500-m radius (polluted) and the other 4 km away from the crushers (control) varying significantly in amount of dust particles received. A decrease in plant height of all species from dust-polluted sites was observed. Reduction in height was more prominent in species like C. procera and D. muricata. Stem sclerification increased in C. procera and E. prostrata from the polluted site that is an indication of better tolerance to dust pollution. C. procera showed increased stem and leaf epidermis, stem sclerenchyma, and stem vascular bundles, which can increase resistance to dust pollution. E. strigosa was the most sensitive species in which all morpho-anatomical factors decreased. Survival of plant species depended on specific structural modifications in dermal, mechanical, parenchymatous, and vascular tissue. Overall, dust pollution severely affected plant morphological and micro-morphological traits, but the response of selected species to dust pollution was variable. It is concluded that stem and leaf anatomical traits like size of dermal and storage tissue thickness and stomatal density are good indicators for biomonitoring of dust pollution.
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The herbarium samples used for identification of plant species deposited to the Herbarium Collection of the Department of Botany, University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
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This manuscript is a part of M.Phil. research of Miss Libaba Shamsi submitted to Department of Botany, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
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Ahmad, I., Shamsi, L., Hameed, M. et al. Micro-morphological response of some native dicotyledonous species to particulate pollutants emitted from stone crushing activities. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12463-2
- Dust pollution
- Leaf thickness
- Plant height