ECOTOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY;
APR 1 2013.
Web of Science Citations:
A refinery located on the slopes of a mountain range in the city of Cubatao (SE-Brazil) is the main source of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the region. For this reason, the refinery replaced a system in which energy was produced from crude oil combustion in boilers with a system of energy and vapor co-generation in a thermoelectric power plant fueled by natural gas. The aim of this study was to investigate the responses of Tibouchina pulchra to the fuel switching. Saplings planted in pots were distributed throughout monitoring sites around the polluting source (sites I, II, III and IV) and in a site (V) far from emissions. Changes on the plants responses occur along the three fuel switching phases. During the last phase, increased carbon assimilation (Asat) and decreased stomatal conductance (gs) were observed in plants growing in sites II and III; as a consequence, intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) increased. However, the increase in Asat did not promote growth increase suggesting that changes at the refinery did not result in better air quality, but only in a change in the main contaminants. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (AU)