Baguio Terrestrial Vascular Plants as Biofilters

by Benilda Z. Narcelles, PhD | Erlina P. De Peralta, MASET | Cheryl A. Langit, MST-BIO | Dahlia D. Soriano, PhD


The main objective of the study was to identify biofilter plants present in the City of Baguio. The study also determined the air particulates present in the main thoroughfares and the amount of heavy metals present in the soil where the plants were collected. The research utilized descriptive-analytical procedure. Soil and plant samples were subjected to an Atomic Absorption Photometry (AAS) to determine the amount of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), and Mercury (Hg) present. Based on the results of the study, the concentration of particulates in air was found to be highest in 2010 particularly during the month of April with a value of 126 ppm. On the other hand, the concentration of heavy metals in the soil samples contained Pb, Cd, and Hg. Specifically, Pb obtained the highest value with a range of 44.90 ppm-244.60 ppm. The highest concentration of Pb in soil samples was recorded along Session Road. The incidence of heavy metal accumulation in plants was recorded in Creeping Plant. It recorded the highest Pb value of 45.525 ppm, although, this amount of Pb content is still below the evaluation criteria of the soil environmental qualification (300 ppm). Most of the plant samples on the other hand, obtained a higher concentration of Cd when compared to the standard evaluation criteria of 0.3 ppm. Ficus, Impatiens and Sanseviera as plant samples obtained higher values of Hg when compared to the standard evaluation criteria that ranges from 0.3 ppm to 1 ppm. Based on the data, the level of incidence of heavy metal accumulation in plants found in the different locations, recorded that the average amount of Pb in the different plants found in the different locations is within the acceptable limit which is 300ppm while the average amount of Cd did not pass the standard value of 0.3 ppm. The average level of Cd in all of the plant samples in the different locations show a higher amount of Cd. In terms of Hg concentration, only plants found in Harrison and Magsaysay Roads did not pass the standard value of 0.5 ppm. The study shows that indeed there is a heavy metal accumulation specifically, Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), and Mercury (Pb) in plants and soils along the identified parks and major thoroughfares in Baguio City.

Key words: Vascular, terrestrial plants, Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Atomic Absorption Photometry (AAS), Baguio City

Source: UB Research Journal, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 1, January  – June 2014