Air Pollution Is Causing Malnutrition In Trees

Air Pollution Is Causing Malnutrition In Trees

Air Pollution Is Causing Malnutrition In Trees(Representational Image)

New Delhi: Air pollution does not only effects human health, but can also cause malnutrition in trees. A new study has found out that air pollution is harming a fungi which is important for providing minerals and nutrients to tree roots.

The roots of the trees host Mycorrize fungi which recieves nutrients from the soil. The essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from soil are provided by these fungi in exchange for carbon from the tree.

This relationship between the plant and fungi is crucial for the health of the tree.

But a recent finding shows thta the high concentration of the elements like nitrogen and phosphorus in the mycorrizae changes them to act as pollutants rather than nutrients.

The malnutrition in the trees can be recognised by discoloured leavaes and excessive flling of trees.

“There is an alarming trend of tree malnutrition across Europe, which leaves forests vulnerable to pests, disease and climate change,” said lead researcher Martin Bidartondo from Imperial College London.

“Processes happening in soil and roots are often ignored, assumed or modelled because studying them directly is difficult, but it is crucial for assessing tree functioning.”

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Over 40,000 roots from 13,000 soil samples were examined at 137 forests in 20 European countries for a period of 10 years to determine a fungi’s tolerence to pollution.

The changes in the ecosystem can negetively affect trees health, noted the researchers, like the team proposed proposed that some changes result in more “parasitic” mycorrhizae, that is those that take carbon in exchange for insufficient level of nutrients.

The species of mycorrhizae fungi and their numbers were found to be predicted by tree species, nutrient status and other local environmental conditions like the atmospheric pollution.

They were also proved to have a large impact on the fungi.

The results can be used to design new in-depth studies of the link between pollution, soil, mycorrhizae, and tree growth health


(Inputs from News Agency IANS)

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