Monitoring the effects of atmospheric ethylene near polyethylene manufacturing plants with two sensitive plant species

A.E.G. Tonneijck, W.F. ten Berge, B.P. Jansen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Data of a multi-year (1977-1983) biomonitoring programme with marigold and petunia around polyethylene manufacturing plants was analysed to assess plant responses to atmospheric ethylene and to determine the area at risk for the phytotoxic effects of this pollutant. In both species, flower formation and growth were severely reduced close to the emission sources and plant performance improved with increasing distance. Plants exposed near the border of the research area had more flowers than the unexposed control while their growth was normal. Measurements of ethylene concentrations at a border site revealed that the growing season mean was 61.5 g m-3 in 1982 and 15.6 g m-3 in 1983. In terms of number of flowers, petunia was more sensitive than marigold and adverse effects were observed within ca. 400 m distance from the sources for marigold and within ca. 460 m for petunia. The area at risk (ca. 870 m) for ethylene-induced growth reduction was also limited to the industrial zone. Plants were more sensitive to ethylene in terms of growth reduction than in terms of inhibition of flowering. In the Netherlands, maximum permissible levels of ethylene are currently based on information from laboratory and greenhouse studies. Our results indicate that these levels are rather conservative in protecting field-grown plants against ethylene-induced injury near polyethylene manufacturing plants
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-279
    JournalEnvironmental Pollution
    Volume123
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • potato

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