SHORT COMMUNICATION: Total and leachable phosphorous in urban street tree leaves

  • Abass A. Olajire
  • Edward O. Olanipekun




(Received January 13, 2000; revised May 8, 2000)

Leaves of different tree species were leached with distilled water (pH 7.0 ± 0.2) and rain water (pH 5.7 ± 0.3) in laboratory glass cylinders to simulate the release of phosphorous (P) pollutant to urban runoff. An average of 106 ± 52.1 μg g-1 and 143 ± 72.7 μg g-1 (air dried weight) of P were leachable from entire leaves in 2 1/2 hours in distilled water and rain water, respectively; these represented 7.21% and 11.36%, respectively, of the total P in the leaves analyzed. The amount of leachable and total leaf P varied significantly (p < 0.05) among tree species but were not significantly (p < 0.05) affected by tree diameters. Fragmented leaves released more than twice as much phosphorous as intact leaves. These findings point to leaves as a source of urban runoff P.

Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2000, 14(1), 91-95

Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia. ISSN: 1011-3924


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eISSN: 1726-801X
print ISSN: 1011-3924