A floristic summary and analysis was performed on a list of the plant species that have been studied for the effects of gaseous and chemical air pollutants on vegetation in order to compare the species with the flora of North America north of Mexico. The scientific names of 2081 vascular plant species were extracted from almost 4000 journal articles stored in two large literature databases on the effects of air pollutants on plants. Three quarters of the plant species studied occur in North America, but this was only 7% of the total North American flora. Sixteen percent and 56% of all North American genera and families have been studied. The most studied genus is Pinus with 70% of the North American species studied, and the most studied family is the grass family, with 12% of the species studied. Although Pinus is ranked 86th in the North American flora, the grass family is ranked third, indicating that representation at the family level is better than at the genus level. All of the top ten families in North America are represented in the top 20 families in the air pollution effects literature, but only one genus (Lupinus) in the top ten genera in North America is represented in the top thirteen genera in the air pollution literature.
Additional Publication Details
Floristic summary of plant species in the air pollution literature