Levels, distributions, and seasonal variations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in ambient air and pine components


ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.193, no.5, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 193 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-021-09028-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Biomonitoring, PAHs, Pine, Needle, Branch, Ambient air
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Pine tree (Pinus pinea) components have been used as passive air samples for determining atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations. Our results indicated that pine needles and branches were found to be statistically successful in describing the ambient air. Monthly pine needles, branches (1- and 2-year-old) and ambient air samples were collected for 1 year to identify molecular distributions and temporal concentrations of PAHs in a suburban-industrial area. Annual average sigma(14)PAH concentrations for pine needles, 1- and 2-year-old branches, and ambient air were 756 +/- 232 ng/g DW, 685 +/- 350 ng/g DW, 587 +/- 361 ng/g DW, and 28.29 +/- 32.33 ng/m(3), respectively. The order of average sigma(14)PAH concentrations in the pine tree components was determined as needle > 1-year-old branch > 2-year-old branch. In general, concentrations increased with the rise in the surface area of tree components. In the samples, 3- and 4-ring PAHs were dominant compounds in the ambient air, pine needles, and branches. The annual total fraction of 3- and 4-ring PAHs in the air was 98.5%, while the fraction of 5- and 6-ring PAHs was 1.5%. On the other hand, 3- and 4-ring PAHs in pine needles and branches were 30% or more. The fraction and level of PAHs change with the season. Although needle samples did not show any seasonal trend, PAH levels in other tree components changed with the air temperature. Generally, lower values were observed in warmer seasons in the branch samples. Similarly, ambient air PAH concentrations were higher in the winter season due to heating and adverse meteorological conditions.