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Modifier 21 October 2021
by Tamás Kallay

CLAIRO Zoom-in 2: Plant hormones help planted trees withstand unfavourable environmental conditions in Ostrava

Growing plants
Source: Francesco Gallarotti, Unsplash
Urban greenery can be used for filtering air pollutants in an industrial area only as long as trees can survive or remain healthy for a longer time. In May 2021 two plots were forested under the CLAIRO project in the most polluted neighbourhoods of Ostrava to provide air quality improvements. To increase the tolerance of trees to air pollutants and other abiotic stressors at the two target sites, as part of an experiment the soil and the plants are treated with specific preparations that contain plant hormones.

Not surprisingly, the newly planted greenery in Ostrava is exposed to multiple environmental stressors, especially in one of the plots that is located at the edge of a slag deposit area in the Bartovice neighbourhood. At this site the soil has very poor quality. It is dry, lacking nutrients and is contaminated by heavy metals. On top of this, plants need also to cope here with poor air quality.

With the aim to increase the resistance of the new vegetation to the harsh local environmental conditions, the plants are treated by the Palacky University Olomouc with biostimulants fortified by cytokinins, a class of plant hormones. Although plant hormones are usually found in very small concentrations, they have robust effects on plant growth and development. Cytokinis, on top of regulating a number of important physiological processes, help the plants overcome environmental stress.

New greenery planted in Bartovice, Ostrava
New greenery planted in Bartovice, Ostrava

 

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