Relative Humidity: Important Modifier of Pollutant Uptake by Plants

Science  09 Jan 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4478, pp. 167-169
DOI: 10.1126/science.211.4478.167


Laboratory measurements of foliar uptake of sulfur dioxide and ozone by red kidney beans demonstrated a strong effect of relative humidity on internal pollutant dose. Foliar uptake was enhanced two- to threefold for sulfur dioxide and three- to fourfold for ozone by an increase in relative humidity from 35 to 75 percent. For the same exposure concentration, vegetation growing in humid areas (such as the eastern United States) may experience a significantly greater internal flux of pollutants than that in more arid regions.