Effects of Heavy Metals on the Air Pollution Tolerance Indices ( APTI ) : Current School News

Effects of Heavy Metals on the Air Pollution Tolerance Indices ( APTI ) of Five Medicinal Plants Growing within Quarry Site in Ishi-Agu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria



Effects of Heavy Metals on the Air Pollution Tolerance Indices ( APTI ) of Five Medicinal Plants Growing within Quarry Site in Ishi-Agu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.


Effects of heavy metals on the Air Pollution Tolerance Indices (APTI) of five medicinal plants growing within quarry site in Ishi-Agu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria were studied.

Following laboratory analysis of the leaves of the plants for metal load and four biochemical parameters of APTI computation.

The metal load was determined by the Atomic Absorption spectrophotometric method, while the ascorbic acid was determined by the titremetric method, leaf extract pH by the electro-chemical techniques, relative water content by plant turgidity mass and the total chlorophyll, by spectrophotometric method.

Foliar photomicrography  of the leaf was also studied. Results of Plants from experimental site showed changes in physical and internal structures of the leaves that lead to closure of some stomata pores in test plants and damage of some epicelluler cells.

Quantification of phytochemical contents of the test plants showed  higher  values than that of control which may be due to the multiplication of some organic substances caused by oxidative stress, presence of inorganic subtances like heavy metals and lime stone dust.

The result of elemental analysis of both experimental and control plants gave the range of  concentration  of  the metals in parts per million (ppm) as follows: – lead ( 2.75 – 14.13  ±  0.02);  Nickle (0.27  –   0.54  ± 0.01)  ;  Cadmium  ( 2.25  –  24.30  ± 0.03);   Zinc (0.11-  0.03 ± 0.02); and  Arsenic  (0.10 – 0.70 ± 0.04). Control –Lead ( 0.00 – 5.52 ± 0.01); Nickle  (0.13 – 0.23 ± 0.01); Cadmium (0.00 – 12.00 ± 0.03);  Zinc ( 0.06 – 0.10 ±  0.03);  and  Arsenic    (0.02 –  0.20     ±  0.02).

There  was  slight  increase  of Cadmium above maximum daily permissible intake in C. ferruginea, A, djalonensis, and R. communis, also there is high content of Arsenic in R.communis which is the cause of  oxidative strees in test plants that  result  in the elicitation of antioxidants from plants and multiplication of ascorbic acid content.

The values for the percentage computation of APTI in test plants are V.doniana (11.03), C.ferruginea (7.62), A.djalonesis (9.94), R. communis (11.5) and M. esculenta (8.60).

Control pants gave V.doniana (11.86), C.ferruginea (8.21), A.djalonesis (11.86), R. communis (14.39), and  M.  esculenta  (10.21) that result in reduction of Relative water content, Ph value, Total chlorophyll content and Ascorbic acid content.

There is relative high content  of  heavy metals, physiological and visible changes in some sensitive  test plants. Owing  to information gotten from the result of this research it is not recommended that plants from the quarry sites be used in herbal formulation because of possible metal intoxication and attenuation of their phythopotency.


Title page: i
Certification: ii
Dedication: iii
Acknowledgements: iv
Abstract: v
Table of contents: vii
List of Tables: x
List of Figures: xi


1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Quarry 2
1.2.1 Effect of quarry on environments 3
1.2.2 Quarry waste 4
1.2.3 Land pollution 5
1.2.4 Noise pollution 5
1.2.5 Damage to biodiversity 6
1.3 Pollution 7
1.3.1 Pollution and vegetation 7
1.3.2 Effect of pollution on leaf anatomy 9
1.4 Air Pollution 11
1.4.1 Air pollution and medicinal plants 13
1.4.2 Types of air pollution, and their sources 14
1.4.3 The threshold which air pollution affects medicinal plants 16
1.4.4 Effect of air pollution on leaf morphology 17
1.4.5 Effect of air pollution on plant sugar content 18
1.4.6 Effects of air pollution on leaf proline 19
1.4.7 General effects of air pollution on medicinal plants 20
1.4.8 Ways of controlling air pollution 23
1.5 Heavy Metals 26
1.5.1 Effect of heavy metals on medicinal plants 27


2.1 Medicinal plants 29
2.2 Pharmacognostic profile of selected medicinal plants 30
2.2.1 Pharmacognostic profile of Cnestis ferruginea 30
2.2.2 Pharmacognostic profile of Ricinus communis 34
2.2.3 Pharmacognostic profile of Vitex doniana 38
2.2.4 Pharmacognostic profile of Anthocliestia djalonensis 41
2.2.5 Pharmacognostic profile of Manihot esculenta 45
2.3 Previous pharmacological invetigation of plants studied 48
2.4 Aim and objective 55
2.5 Significance of study 55
2.6 Definition of terms 56


3.1 Collection and preparation of plants materials 66
3.2 Chemicals, reagents and equipments 67
3.3 Morphological and microscopic analysis 68
3.4 Qualitative Phytochemical analysis 69
3.5 Quantitative Phytochemical analysis 74
3.6 Determination of Analytical standard 76
3.7 Elemental analysis 80
3.8 Air pollution Tolerance index analysis 84
3.9 Statistical Analysis 86


4.1 Macroscopic /Morphological examination of the leaves of test and control samples 87
4.2 Microscopical examination of the leaves of test and control samples 90
4.3 Summary of the morphological features and microscopic results of leaf from experimental and control sites respectively. 95
4.4 Phytochemical analysis of the leaves of test and control samples 96
4.5 Analytical standard of the plants leaves of the test and control samples 98
4.6 Elemental analysis of the leaves of test and control samples 99
4.7 Relative water contents of the leaves of the leaves of test and control samples 101
4.8 Chlorophyll contents of the leaves of the leaves of test and control samples 102
4.8 pH of the leaf extract of leaves of test and control samples 102
4.9 Ascorbic acid contents of the leaves of test and control samples 103
4.10 Air pollution tolerance indices (APTI) of the leaves of test and control samples 103


5.1 Discussion 104
5.2 Conclusion 116
Recommendation 117
Reference 118
Appendix 127


Plants occupy vital position in the ecosystem because of their role as primary producers.They are also the major recipients of environmental pollution owing to their static disposition.

While men and other animals move away from the immediate vicinity of compromised environmental status, plants remain relatively immobile receiving environmental pollutants within the ecosystem.

The effect of particulate air pollutants on vegetation have been studied always before now (Manning,1971).  Air  Pollution Tolerance Indices (APTI) of plants  is an important measure to check the effect of air pollution on medicinal plants and other plants generally.

Nigerian as with orther developing country suffers pollution burden associated with the ever increasing human  population, vehicular traffic, infrastractures and industries, with negative implications for  the sustainability of humans, animals and plants communities (Choudhury and Banerjee, 2009).

Since plants major systems and organs are exposed to the atmosphere, any air pollution around the environments reflects on the plant health making some plant show sensitivity, some show minimal or no effect while some are tolerant.

The plants response to air pollutant varies from species to species, type of pollutant, its reacting mechanism, and duration of exposure.


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Agbaire, P.O and Esiefarienrhe E. (2009). Air pollution tolerance indices(APTI)  of some plants around otorogun gas plant in Delta state Nigeria. Int. J. Phys. Sci., 4: 366-368.

Agbofor, K.N, and Nwachukwu, N. (2011) . Phyto chemical analysis and antioxidant property of leaf extract of Vitex Doniana and mucana pruriens. J. Bioch. Res. Internation 20: 11

Alaimo, M. G., Lipani B., Lombardo M. G., Orechio S., Turano M. and Melati R (1980). The mapping of strees in the predominant plants in the city of palermo by  lead  dosage.  Bulletin  of  environmental  pollution.   16: 4-54

Alireza, P., Nayerah R., Andrea. O, Rosemarie. L and Andrea .p., (2010). Influence of Enviromental pollution leaf properties of urban plane trees, Platanus Orientalis L. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.85 :251-255.

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