Tropical woody species occurring in limestone outcrops are frequently exposed to particulate material from cement factories. The effects of 60-day cement dust exposure on physiological traits and enzymatic antioxidant system of young plant leaves of Guazuma ulmifolia Lam., Myracrodruon urundeuva Allemão and Trichilia hirta L. were investigated. Cement dust (2.5 or 5mgcm−2) was applied to the leaf surface or soil or both (leaf plus soil) and plants were maintained at greenhouse. Cement dust barely affected the mineral nutrient levels, except for iron whose content was decreased in leaves/leaflets of all species studied. The incident light was partly blocked in cement dust-treated leaves, regardless of the plant species, causing a decrease in the photosynthetic pigments in M. urundeuva. The chlorophyll b content, however, increased in G. ulmifolia and T. hirta leaves upon cement dust treatment. The potential quantum yield of photosystem II in challenged leaves of G. ulmifolia was 3.8% lower than that of control plants, while such trait remained unaffected in the leaves of the other species. No changes in leaf stomatal conductance and antioxidant enzymes activities were observed, except for M. urundeuva, which experienced a 31% increment in the superoxide dismutase activity upon 5mgcm−2 cement dust (leaf plus soil treatment), when compared with control plants. Overall, the mild changes caused by cement dust in the in physiological and biochemical traits of the species studied indicate that such species might be eligible for further studies of revegetation in fields impacted by cement factories.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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