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Atmospheric pollutant concentrations and leaf chemistry variables collected along gradients of median household income and traffic density in Salt Lake Valley, UT

Citation

Cobley, LaShaye; Pataki, Diane; Adler, Frederick; Hinners, Sarah Jack (2021), Atmospheric pollutant concentrations and leaf chemistry variables collected along gradients of median household income and traffic density in Salt Lake Valley, UT, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.xsj3tx9gg

Abstract

We utilize traffic density and Convolvulus arvensis leaf chemistry to understand spatial patterns linking atmospheric pollution and household income in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, USA. We hypothesize that traffic density will explain variation in atmospheric NOx and O3 concentrations. In addition, we expect foliar %N and nitrogen isotope ratios (δ15N) to be elevated and carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) to be depleted on high traffic density roads. These hypotheses were supported: we found the highest NOx and lowest O3 concentrations on high-traffic density roads. Also, NOx concentrations were higher in low-income neighborhoods. Low-income neighborhoods contained a greater density of high-traffic roads than high-income neighborhoods. Foliar %N was highest in low-income neighborhoods and was correlated with NOx and O3, while δ15N was more depleted with increasing O3. These findings indicate that the distribution of high-traffic density roads plays a significant role in inequities in pollution exposure between high- and low-income neighborhoods, which is reflected in leaf chemistry.

Methods

Details on the methodology can be found in the "Metadata" tab in the attached excel file and in Cobley et al. 2021. 

Funding

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, Award: 1256065

iUTAH-innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability, Award: 1208732