Particulate matter (PM) deposited on Platanus acerifoliatree leaves has been sampled in the urban areas of 28 European cities,over 20 countries, with the aim of testing leaf deposited particles asindicator of atmospheric PM concentration and composition. Leaveshave been collected close to streets characterized by heavy traffic andwithin urban parks. Leaf surface density, dimensions, and elementalcomposition of leaf deposited particles have been compared with leafmagnetic content, and discussed in connection with air quality data. ThePM quantity and size were mainly dependent on the regionalbackground concentration of particles, while the percentage of ironbasedparticles emerged as a clear marker of traffic-related pollution inmost of the sites. This indicates that Platanus acerifolia is highly suitableto be used in atmospheric PM monitoring studies and thatmorphological and elemental characteristics of leaf deposited particles, joined with the leaf magnetic content, may successfullyallow urban PM source apportionment.
Chiara Baldacchini†, Ana Castanheiro‡, Nairuhi Maghakyan§, Gregorio Sgrigna†, Jolien Verhelst‡, Rocío Alonso∥, Jorge H. Amorim⊥+, Patrick Bellan#, Danijela Đunisijević Bojović&, Jürgen Breuste∇, Oliver Bühler○, Ilie C. Cântar◆, Paloma Cariñanos¶, Giulia Carriero∞, Galina Churkina⊗, Lucian Dinca◆, Raffaela Esposito†, Stanisław W. Gawroński□, Maren Kern∏, Didier Le Thiec∂, Marco Morettiℏ, Tine Ningal⋈, Eleni C. Rantzoudi☼, Iztok Sinjur◑, Biljana Stojanova⌀, Mira Aničić Urošević☆, Violeta VelikovaÅ, Ivana Živojinović@, Lilit Sahakyan§, Carlo Calfapietra*† , and Roeland Samson‡