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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-487
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-487
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 May 2019

Research article | 24 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Plant assemblages in atmospheric deposition

Ke Dong1,2,3, Cheolwoon Woo1, and Naomichi Yamamoto1,2 Ke Dong et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
  • 2Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
  • 3Major of Life Science, College of Natural Sciences, Kyonggi University, Suwon 16227, Republic of Korea

Abstract. Plants disperse spores, pollen, and fragments into the atmosphere. The emitted plant particles return to the pedosphere by sedimentation (dry deposition) and/or by precipitation (wet deposition) and constitute part of the global cycle of substances. However, little is known regarding the taxonomic diversities and flux densities of plant particles deposited from the atmosphere. Here, plant assemblages were examined in atmospheric deposits collected in Seoul in South Korea. A custom-made automatic sampler was used to collect dry and wet deposition samples for which plant assemblages and quantities were determined using high-throughput sequencing and quantitative PCR with universal plant-specific primers targeting the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region. Dry deposition was dominant for atmospheric deposition of plant particles (87 %). The remaining 13 % was deposited by precipitation, i.e., wet deposition, via rainout (in-cloud scavenging) and/or washout (below-cloud scavenging). Plant assemblage structures did not differ significantly between dry and wet deposition, indicating that washout, which is likely taxon-independent, predominated rainout, which is likely taxon-dependent, for wet deposition of atmospheric plant particles. A small number of plant genera were detected only in wet deposition, indicating that they might be specifically involved in precipitation through acting as nucleation sites in the atmosphere. Future interannual monitoring will control for the seasonality of atmospheric plant assemblages observed at our sampling site. Future global monitoring is also proposed to investigate geographical differences and investigate whether endemic species are involved in plant-mediated bioprecipitation in regional ecological systems.

Ke Dong et al.
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Short summary
The work reported here is the first, the most comprehensive molecular-based study of atmospheric deposition of plants. Plants disperse spores, pollen, and fragments into the atmosphere. The emitted plant particles return to pedosphere by sedimentation (dry deposition) and/or by precipitation (wet deposition), comprising part of the earth's cycling of substances. This is the first study to report plant assemblages in dry and wet atmospheric deposits collected together at the same sampling point.
The work reported here is the first, the most comprehensive molecular-based study of atmospheric...
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