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Effect of fluorides in ambient air on grass species growing in artificial grassland communities

Effect of fluorides in ambient air on grass species growing in artificial grassland communities

Fluoride 20(3): 126-136

Much fluoride research has been done on pure grass cultures. However, to determine how grass species behave in a grassland community exposed to ambient fluorides, two mixtures of grass species, mixture A consisting of Lolium perenne, Dactylis glomerata, Phleum pratensis and mixture B consisting of the same species without Dactylis glomerata were sown in containers (48 .times. 30 cm; h. 20 cm) filled with a sandy arable soil, equipped with a semiautomatic watering system. Containers were placed in a polluted area and in a control area; grass was clipped 3-5 times a year for 3-4 years, 4-5 cm above ground level. Each harvested grass mixture (400-500 shoots per container) was divided into the different species and the dry matter production and the number of tillers per container were determined as well as the fluoride content of each species. The daily average concentration during the growing season was 1.4 to 2.2 .mu.g/m3. Peak concentrations up to 14 .mu.g/m3 (daily average) occurred. Immission measurements were done with a single filter method. Lolium perenne appeared to be the least sensitive species whereas Phileum pratensis was the most inhibited. After 1-2 years, Lolium started to dominate the community (mixture B) in the polluted area in contrast to the control area. Dactylis glomerata (mixture A) was also rather sensitive but under the applied mowing cycle it was dominating on both areas in spite of a strong growth inhibition in the polluted area.

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