Plants as Bioindicators of Air Pollutants

  • Isamu Nouchi


Plants cannot select and move their living places as can animals, and thus live their lives responding to their surrounding environment. Whenever environmental components, such as temperature, soil water content, nutrients, and air pollutants, exceed the range to which the plants can adapt or become limiting, the plant develops abnormal symptoms or growth. The appearance of such abnormal symptoms or growth is a good indicator of the dangers of environmental pollution to human beings. A number of air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, peroxyacetyl nitrate, halogens, and acid rain, can damage plants. Therefore, plants offer an excellent alarm system for detecting the presence of excessive concentrations of these air pollutants and often provide the very first evidence that the air is polluted. Plant responses, especially characteristic foliar symptoms, have long been used as indicators of air pollutants. In addition, the amount of metal accumulation has also been used as a bioindicator.


Ozone Concentration Titan Blue Morning Glory Photochemical Smog Radish Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer -Verlag Tokyo 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isamu Nouchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Agro-Meteorology GroupNational Institute for Agro-Environmental SciencesTsukuba, IbarakiJapan

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