The impact of urban trees on concentrations of PAHs and other gaseous air pollutants in Yanji, northeast China

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It is generally conceived that trees can clean polluted air in urban areas sufficiently enough to be considered providers of a vital ecosystem service, although there have not been many field studies showing this in practice in the neighbourhood scale. Using passive sampling methods, we investigated the effect of urban park trees on the concentrations of gaseous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ground-level ozone (O3) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in early summer in the temperate zone city of Yanji, northeast China. Concentrations of total gaseous PAHs and certain PAH constituents were higher and concentrations of O3 lower in tree-covered areas compared to nearby open areas, while tree cover did not affect the concentrations of NO2 and SO2. The higher PAH concentrations under tree canopies may associate with air-soil gas exchange and the trapping of polluted air under canopies. Lower O3 concentrations in tree-covered areas may result from a combination of absorption of O3 by tree canopies, and lower temperatures and solar radiation under tree canopies compared to open areas.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • Urban trees
  • Urban vegetation
  • Air Pollutants
  • PAHs
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Ozone
  • sulphur dioxide
  • China
  • Yanji
  • Ecosystem services
  • Urban parks
  • Urban ecosystems

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