Ekofiziološke adaptacije vrsta Pinus nigra Arn., Gesculus hippocastanum L. i Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd. u urbanim sredinama sa različitim izvorima zagađenja
Ecophysiological adaptations of Pinus nigra Arn., Gesculus hippocastanum L. and Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd. species in urban environments with different sources of pollution
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Urban habitats are under strong anthropogenic influence and are often characterized by intense air, water and soil pollution originating from various stationary and mobile sources. The specific type of pollutants in these habitats are metals that due to their toxic, persistent and nonbiodegradable properties accumulate in the soil. Research was conducted in urban parks in Pančevo, Smederevo, Obrenovac and Belgrade that are exposed to pollution by chemical elements, including toxic metals originating from various sources. Research included plant and soil analyses. For ecophysiological research, three woody plant species that have been successfully grown in urban areas were selected: Pinus nigra Arn., Aesculus hippocastanum L. i Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd. The central aim and subject of this doctoral dissertation was to define the factors that limit the functioning of plants, and to determine their ecophysiological characteristics and adaptive responses. Special attention was paid to the problem of pollution by toxic metals and metalloids, their mobility and availability to plants, as well as their impact on physiological processes in plants (photosynthesis efficiency and photosynthetic pigment content). Analyses of the physical and chemical properties of the soils showed that urban soils are characterized by high proportion of a sand fraction, a low content of hygroscopic moisture, organic carbon and nitrogen and an alkaline reaction, but also a favorable C/N ratio for mineralization of organic matter and release of essential minerals for plants. The limiting factors (toxic levels of B, Cr, Ni and Pb measured in soils from urban parks) in synergy with high temperatures and low precipitation during a significant part of the vegetation season, influenced the functioning of the examined plant species in urban habitats. Analysis of the chemical element contents in pine needles and leaves revealed species differences, and also that the examined species were exposed to toxic concentrations of B and Sr and, at the same time, deficits of the essential elements, Cu, Mn and Zn. Generally, in P. nigra, A. hippocastanum and P. acerifolia, differences in photosynthetic efficiency, pigment contents and in morphological symptoms of injury were observed. In spite of the above, all the investigated species, first of all A. hippocastanum and P. acerifolia, exhibited a high potential for tolerance to stress pollution by toxic metals and metalloids, which makes them suitable for planting in urban parks and industrial zones. These species represent a significant resource for further research.