I understand that tree roots help mitigate pollution in a variety of ways, and I imagine to greatly varying extents. I get the general idea (I'll describe my thoughts below) but would like clarification through a diagram or scientific study, neither of which I can find.
I've read studies on riparian forest effects on water quality, but am not aware of (and didn't easily find) studies that zoom in on how tree roots specifically reduce pollution. My current understanding is that tree roots mitigate pollution in the following ways:
- storing pollutants, by catching it (e.g. holding sediment in place) or through sorption (by plant or its associated microbial community), and
- fostering microbial life in and around plant matter which will degrade & transform pollutants into less harmful forms.
To reiterate: I'm looking for scientific studies and/or diagrams clarifying how do tree roots mitigate pollution?