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Traffic-related dustfall and NO, but not NH, seriously affect nitrogen isotopic compositions in soil and plant tissues near the roadside.

08:00 EDT 25th March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Traffic-related dustfall and NO, but not NH, seriously affect nitrogen isotopic compositions in soil and plant tissues near the roadside."

Ammonia (NH) emissions from traffic have received particular attention in recent years because of their important contributions to the growth of secondary aerosols and the negative effects on urban air quality. However, few studies have been performed on the impacts of traffic NH emissions on adjacent soil and plants. Moreover, doubt remains over whether dry nitrogen (N) deposition still contributes a minor proportion of plant N nutrition compared with wet N deposition in urban road environments. This study investigated the δN values of road dustfall, soil, moss, camphor leaf and camphor bark samples collected along a distance gradient from the road, suggesting that samples collected near the road have significantly more positive δN values than those of remote sites. According to the SIAR model (Stable Isotope Analysis in R) applied to dustfall and moss samples from the roadside, it was found that NH from traffic exhaust (8.8 ± 7.1%) contributed much less than traffic-derived NO (52.2 ± 10.0%) and soil N (39.0 ± 13.8%) to dustfall bulk N; additionally, 68.6% and 31.4% of N in mosses near the roadside could be explained by dry N deposition (only 20.4 ± 12.5% for traffic-derived NH) and wet N deposition, respectively. A two-member mixing model was used to analyse the δN in continuously collected mature camphor leaf and camphor bark samples, which revealed a similarity of the δN values of plant-available deposited N to N-enriched traffic-derived NO-N. We concluded that a relatively high proportion of N inputs in urban road environments was contributed by traffic-related dustfall and NO rather than NH. These information provide useful insights into reducing the impacts of traffic exhaust on adjacent ecosystems and can assist policy makers in determining the reconstruction of a monitoring network for N deposition that reaches the road level.

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Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
ISSN: 1873-6424
Pages: 655-665

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