, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 23–29 | Cite as

Physiological and biochemical responses of two tree species in urban areas to different air pollution levels

  • S. G. Baek
  • S. Y. Woo
Original Papers


We investigated the physiological and biochemical differences in Pterocarpus indicus and Erythrina orientalis grown in four sites at different pollution levels in the Philippines: Makati, Pasig and Quezon (high pollution levels; HP) located in Metro Manila, and La Mesa Watershed (a non-polluted area; NP). Among these four areas, HP sites had higher net photosynthetic rates (P N) than NP sites, except for Makati. Among HP sites, Makati and Quezon had the lowest P N for P. indicus and E. orientalis, respectively. Chlorophyll (Chl) contents were significantly lower in HP than in NP sites. Trees in Makati had the lowest Chl contents among HP sites, and P. indicus had higher Chl contents than did E. orientalis. In addition, the chloroplasts in HP trees had small starch grains with numerous dark, large plastoglobuli. Furthermore, antioxidant enzymes, indicative of the defense mechanism, showed a significantly higher activity in HP than in NP trees.

Additional key words

antioxidant enzyme chlorophyll content chloroplasts photosynthetic rate plastoglobuli 



ascorbate peroxidase




dehydroascorbate reductase




glutathione reductase


stomatal conductance


high levels of air pollution


monodehydroascorbate reductase


non-polluted area


net photosynthetic rate


photosynthetic photon flux density


reactive oxygen species


sodium cacodylate buffer


transmission electron microscopy


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This work was supported by the the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD, Basic Research Promotion Fund) (KRF-2008-314-F00021).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental HorticultureUniversity of SeoulSeoulRepublic of Korea

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