iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Effect of dust accumulation on Quercus cerris L. leaves in the Ezer forest, Lebanon

Rola Najib (1)   , Tarek Houri (2), Yara Khairallah (3), Mahmoud Khalil (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 15, Issue 4, Pages 322-330 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3959-015
Published: Aug 23, 2022 - Copyright © 2022 SISEF

Research Articles

Air pollution arising from different sources represents a serious environmental threat to all living organisms, including vegetation. Monitoring air contamination levels is necessary to detect pollution levels, regulate atmospheric pollution, and ultimately improve ambient air quality. The current study evaluated the effects of air pollutants with a focus on dust and some biochemical and physiological properties of Quercus cerris L., which is growing in Lebanon’s Ezer forest, threatened by the presence of a public road on its northern side. The studied parameters include leaf extract pH, stomatal conductance, relative water content, hydrogen peroxide, proline, carotenoids, and air pollution tolerance index. These parameters can provide reliable information about the tolerance status of plants towards pollutants. Three sites with different exposure to vehicular activities were used to conduct this study, including a control site (unpolluted) and two polluted sites (S1 and S2). The results showed a significant reduction in stomatal conductance and relative water content at polluted sites compared with the control site. Hydrogen peroxide, proline, and carotenoids showed the highest levels at the S2 site, which is indicative of the fact that Quercus cerris undergoes established physiological and biochemical changes in response to environmental stress. Based on the air pollution tolerance index (4.97-9.85) Quercus cerris is categorized as a sensitive species that can be used as a biological monitor of environmental pollution. Thus, the development and implementation of efficient environmental action plans based on biomonitoring should be considered for protecting the forests.


Ezer Forest, Quercus cerris L., Dust, Physiological Parameters, Biochemical Parameters, Bioindicator

Authors’ address

Rola Najib 0000-0002-5246-1306
Mahmoud Khalil 0000-0001-7629-4357
Beirut Arab University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Debbieh Campus (Lebanon)
Tarek Houri 0000-0003-4297-1000
Beirut Arab University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Tripoli Campus (Lebanon)
Yara Khairallah 0000-0002-9581-0780
Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, Department of Soil, Plants and Fertilizers, Fanar, Metn (Lebanon)

Corresponding author



Najib R, Houri T, Khairallah Y, Khalil M (2022). Effect of dust accumulation on Quercus cerris L. leaves in the Ezer forest, Lebanon. iForest 15: 322-330. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3959-015

Academic Editor

Rossella Guerrieri

Paper history

Received: Sep 01, 2021
Accepted: Jun 13, 2022

First online: Aug 23, 2022
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2022
Publication Time: 2.37 months

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