AMBIENT AIR QUALITY AND THE AIR POLLUTION TOLERANCE INDEX OF SOME COMMON PLANT SPECIES OF ANAND CITY, GUJARAT, INDIA
The present study aimed to observe the Air pollution status of Milk city - Anand and its impact on the prevalent vegetation in the Industrial area, Urban area, and Commercial area during a post-monsoon season in 2022. SO2, NO2, NH3, PM2.5, and PM10 were measured using High Volume Air Sampler (HVAS). As we know air pollution is a serious problem in India, more than 90% of India's population lives in places where air quality is below WHO criteria, as it is mixed with road dust, vehicular emission, domestic fuel burning, open waste burning, construction activities, industrial emissions, and anthropogenic activity. Exceeding amounts of gases and particulate matter may lead to various health effects like respiratory infections, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and also affect vegetation. According to the World Health Organization's report(year), exposure to fine particulate outdoor air pollution over a long period causes about 4.2 million premature deaths annually. The concentration of SO2, NO2, NH3, PM2.5, and PM10 varied between 9.31 to 12.16 µg/m3, 7.08 to 10.42 µg/m3, 1.65 to 1.93 µg/m3, 34.75 to 58.30 µg/m3 and 42.90 to 86.64 µg/m3 respectively (Fig. 1). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a significant tool for measuring ambient air quality and environmental health. AQI ranged from 65.54 to 112.64. The highest AQI recorded was at the industrial site (112.64) and the lowest at Urban site (65.54) (Fig. 2). During the study period, the industrial area was highly polluted due to more release of hazardous gases and particulate matter from various industries. At the commercial and Urban area lower values of AQI represents a satisfactory category as per CPCB. APTI plays a significant role to determine the resistivity and susceptibility of plant species against pollution levels. Plant that has a higher index value are tolerant to air pollution. Fig. 3 shows the APTI for an industrial, urban, and commercial site. All three plant species (Alstonia scholaris, Azardirachta indica and polyalthia longifolia) growing in industrial area showed higher APTI value compared to Urban and Commercial area. The APTI values for plant species were as Alstonia scholaris > Azardirachta indica > polyalthia longifolia. All the species were found in the range of 1-16, hence these species fall under the category of sensitive species.