Particulate matter removal by forest cover in Delhi

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Arboricultural Journal


Increasing levels of particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere of megacities is a serious concern due to implications for human exposure and overall environmental quality. Delhi experiences extremely high levels of particulate pollution. The present study sheds light on the seasonal differences in PM removal from the atmosphere by the available forest cover and quantifies this for Delhi. Particulate matter data from 40 stations across Delhi along with leaf area index (LAI) derived from remotely sensed satellite images were used. PM removed in the wet summer period was found to be lower than for the dry winter period in a year. The results highlight an unusual schedule for foliage fall in Delhi, as substantiated by the calculated LAI during the wet summer season and dry winter season. Overall, the study quantitatively evaluates the PM removal potential of forest cover in Delhi and suggests a need for the careful selection of trees in afforestation programmes.

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