Effect of atmospheric sulfur di oxide on plants

Bytnerowicz, A.; Molski, B.

Wiadomosci Botaniczne 18(3): 169-182


Accession: 005221766

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The concentrations of SO2 causing damage to plants, the specific effects produced by toxic concentrations of the gas and the mechanism by which these effects are produced are reviewed. The growth of plants at various distances from factories generating SO2 is described. Effects vary with species. The reaction to SO2 in trees and bushes is classified by resistance or susceptibility from the content of 15 different published papers on this subject. Resistant species include Acer negundo, A. rubrum, Alnus glutinosa, Cupressus, Elaeagnus commutata, Lonicera tatarica, Persica, Pinus nigra, Polygonum cilinode, Populus, Prunus armeniaca, Quercus palustris, Q. sessilis, Robinia pseudacacia, Salix caprea, Sambucus pubens, Syringa josikaea, Thuja and Taxus baccata. It is interesting that species of the same genera, e.g., Acer platanoides are sensitive, while others are resistant. This is also true of the genus Prunus. Mosses, bryophytes and lichens are particularly sensitive to SO2. A list is given of sensitive and resistant species. The effect of SO2 on annuals, particularly food plants, is discussed, and a table classifying these plants by their relative resistance and sensitivity is extracted from the researches of 7 different authors. Synergism of ozone and SO2 in producing damage is discussed, and the cost-benefit relation involving the cost of apparatus to remove SO2 from factory effluents against the damage to plants is mentioned.