A Comparative Study of Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) of Some Fruit Plant Species Growing in the Industrial Area of Sfax, Tunisia

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Laboratory of Improvement of Olive Productivity and Product Quality, Olive Tree Institute, Sfax, Tunisia Laboratory of Botany and Cryptogamy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Limoges, University of Limoges, France

2 Laboratory of Environment Engineering and Ecotechnology, High Institute of Biotechnology of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia

3 Laboratory of Plant Biodiversity and Dynamics of Ecosystems in Arid Area, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia

4 Laboratory of Botany and Cryptogamy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Limoges, University of Limoges, France

5 Laboratory of Improvement of Olive Productivity and Product Quality, Olive Tree Institute, Sfax, Tunisia


Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) is an important tool to screen out plants, based on their tolerance or sensitivity level to different air pollutants. The present study has been conducted to evaluate APTI of four different plant species around polluted and unpolluted industrial site in Sfax, Tunisia. In order to determine the susceptibility level of the selected plant species, it has used four physiological and biochemical parameters like leaf relative water content, ascorbic acid content, chlorophyll content, and leaf pH to compute the APTI values. The results of the study reveal that among the four studied plant species, Olea europaea (APTI = 20.09) and Phoenix dactylifera (APTI = 17.10) are the most tolerant species, whereas Ficus carica (APTI = 8.87) and Morus alba (APTI = 7.49) are the most sensitive ones. The present study suggests that the most tolerant species, i.e., olive and date palm, can be planted in polluted sites for both air pollution abatement and aesthetic improvement. While, the sensitive species, namely common figand white Mulberry, help indicating air pollution and should be utilized as bio-indicators.


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