Browsing by Subject "near-road environment"

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  • Viippola, Viljami; Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa; Järvi, Leena; Kulmala, Markku; Setälä, Heikki (2020)
    Trees and other vegetation have been advocated as a mitigation measure for urban air pollution mainly due to the fact that they passively filter particles from the air. However, mounting evidence suggests that vegetation may also worsen air quality by slowing the dispersion of pollutants and by producing volatile organic compounds that contribute to formation of ozone and other secondary pollutants. We monitored nanoparticle (>10 nm) counts along distance gradients away from major roads along paired transects across open and forested landscapes in Baltimore (USA), Helsinki (Finland) and Shenyang (China) − i.e. sites in three biomes with different pollution levels − using condensation particle counters. Mean particle number concentrations averaged across all sampling sites were clearly reduced (15 %) by the presence of forest cover only in Helsinki. For Baltimore and Shenyang, levels showed no significant difference between the open and forested transects at any of the sampling distances. This suggests that nanoparticle deposition on trees is often counterbalanced by other factors, including differing flow fields and aerosol processes under varying meteorological conditions. Similarly, consistent differences in high frequency data patterns between the transects were detected only in Helsinki. No correlations between nanoparticle concentrations and solar radiation or local wind speed as affecting nanoparticle abundances were found, but they were to some extent associated with canopy closure. These data add to the accumulating evidence according to which trees do not necessarily improve air quality in near-road environments.
  • Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa Johannes; Viippola, Juho Viljami; Kotze, David Johannes; Setälä, Heikki Martti (2017)
    Trees are believed to improve air quality, thus providing an important ecosystem service for urban inhabitants. However, empirical evidence on the beneficial effects of urban vegetation on air quality at the local level and in boreal climatic regions is scarce. We studied the influence of greenbelt-type forest patches on NO2 levels (i) in front of, (ii) inside and (iii) behind greenbelts next to major roads in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland, during summer and winter using passive collectors. Concentrations of NO2 were significantly higher in front of greenbelts compared to road sides without greenbelts. The more trees there were inside greenbelts the higher the NO2 level in front of greenbelts, likely due to the formation of a recirculation zone of air flow in front of greenbelts. Similarly, NO2 levels were higher inside greenbelts than in open areas without them, likely due to reduced air flow inside greenbelts. NO2 levels behind greenbelts were similar to those detected at the same distance from the road but without greenbelts. Our results suggest that, regardless of season, roadside greenbelts of mostly broadleaf trees do not reduce NO2 levels in near-road environments, but can result in higher NO2 levels in front of and inside greenbelts.
  • Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa Johannes; Setälä, Heikki Martti; Viippola, Juho Viljami (2017)