Title
Biomonitoring of urban habitat quality by anatomical and chemical leaf characteristics Biomonitoring of urban habitat quality by anatomical and chemical leaf characteristics
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Environmental and experimental botany. - Oxford, 1976, currens
Volume/pages
65(2009) :2/3 , p. 386-394
ISSN
0098-8472
ISI
000263664100030
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This study focused on the potential of specific leaf area, stomatal density and stomatal pore surface as easy-to-measure plant parameters in low cost biomonitoring of urban habitat quality with a high spatial resolution. The study area (81.5 km2) was the city of Gent, Belgium. In the study area 148 sampling locations were identified within 4 land use classes. Specific leaf area, stomatal density, stomatal pore surface, minimal stomatal resistance, chlorophyll a and b, C and N content, ä13C and ä15N in the leaf samples of a common herbaceous plant Taraxacum officinalis were measured. The stomatal pore surface and minimal stomatal resistance of T. officinalis varied significantly between land use classes. In the harbor and industry land use class and the urban land use class a 27% and 21% lower mean stomatal pore surface at the abaxial leaf surface, and a 29% and 27% lower mean stomatal pore surface at the adaxial leaf surface was observed compared to that in the pasture land use class. The minimal stomatal resistance at the abaxial leaf surface was significantly higher in the urban land use class and harbor and industry land use class by 28% and 29%, respectively compared to that in the pasture land use class. In addition, urbanized and industrial land use classes as the harbour and industry and the urban land use classes showed significantly lower ä13C values compared to pasture land use class. The specific leaf area, stomatal parameters and ä13C data were geostatistically analyzed to understand their spatial variation. The spatial distributions of stomatal pore surface and minimal stomatal resistance varied considerably across the study area, indicating a different habitat quality from the harbour area in the north, over the city centre in the middle and the industrial areas in the south, compared to off city areas. Spatial patterns of ä13C showed depleted ä13C levels in city areas indicating the diluted ä13C in the urban atmosphere by fuel combustion. We concluded that stomatal characteristics seem to be the most promising parameter for estimating urban habitat quality.
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