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  • 1 Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir Division of Environmental Sciences Shalimar, Srinagar 191 121 J. & K. India
  • | 2 Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir Division of Post Harvest Technology Shalimar, Srinagar 191 121 J. & K. India
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A study carried out to assess the impact of particulate pollution on some selected fruit trees of Kashmir valley, viz., Malus × domestica Borkh. var. ‘American Apirouge’, Malus × domestica Borkh. var. ‘White Dotted Red’, Pyrus communis L. var. ‘Bartlett’, Prunus dulcis Mill. var. ‘Local’ growing under ambient field conditions around a cement kiln has shown that foliar photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll-a, -b, total chlorophyll, chlorophyll-a/b ratio and carotenoids), N, P, carbohydrate as well as ascorbic acid contents exhibited a severe decline under pollution stress. However, K and proline contents of the foliage exhibited increased levels in the same environmental set-up. The results also show that various fruit morphological characters (viz., fruit length, diameter and firmness), as well as other characteristics like total soluble solids, total sugars, ascorbic acid and acidity of the pome fruits suffered significantly greater reductions under the impact of cement dust pollution. Similarly, in nut fruit Prunus dulcis the average weight of the nut and kernel, % shelling, moisture, protein, carbohydrate, ash and fat content also suffered severe losses under pollution stress. The yield of fruits (tons ha-1) also suffered greater losses, the maximum being observed in P. × communis var. ‘Bartlett’ (40%) followed by P. dulcis var. ‘Local’ (28.57%), M. × domestica var. ‘American Apirouge’ (18.51%) and least in M. × domestica var. ‘White Dotted Red’ (15%). The analysis of the soil has revealed that, except available N, all other parameters, viz., pH, Ec, available P and K, exchangeable Ca and Mg as well as Fe and Al recorded higher values in the polluted soil compared to control.

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