REMOVAL OF AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER BY VEGETATION IN AN URBAN PARK IN THE CITY OF ROME (ITALY): AN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES PERSPECTIVE.

V. Silli, E. Salvatori, F. Manes

Abstract


Pollution, in particular airborne particulate matter (PM), has been recognized as serious threat to human health. Vegetation may contribute to reduce PM concentration, improving environmental and life quality of inhabitants, especially of those living in urban areas, also delivering important Ecosystem Services to human communities. Here are presented some results of a more extensive research project, aimed to explore the effect of urban vegetation on PM concentrations. The study has been carried out in the year 2012 in Villa Ada, a historical park located north of Rome, surrounded by densely built areas and by high-traffic density roads. An experimental measurements campaign of PM concentrations was conducted. We adopted a simplified model for the estimation of the potential PM10 deposition to vegetation. The results showed that trees may effectively abate suspended particles, with evergreen broadleaved trees being most effective in the summer, reducing the average air concentration of PM10.  During the year 2012, the woody vegetation of Villa Ada removed in total 4417.2 kg of PM10, and the gross value of this benefit can be estimated as equal to $ 80746. This study confirms the strategic role played by green infrastructures in supporting and improving the provision of important Ecosystem Services in urban areas.

Keywords


Regulating Ecosystem Services, air quality improvement, particulate matter (PM) concentration, metropolitan area of Rome, functional biodiversity, green infrastructures, urban vegetation, trees diversity.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4462/annbotrm-13077

Annali di Botanica is published by the Department of Environmental Biology - University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy. The journal is printed by Sapienza Università Editrice – Sapienza Università di Roma.

ISSN 0365-0812 (print)

ISSN 2239-3129 (online)