An increase in quarrying, open-cast mining and road traffic suggest that dust deposition onto vegetation may be increasing. This review describes the physical and chemical characters of a range of dust types. The effects of dust on crops, grasslands, heathlands, trees and woodlands, arctic bryophyte and lichen communities are identified. Dust may affect photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration and allow the penetration of phytotoxic gaseous pollutants. Visible injury symptoms may occur and generally there is decreased productivity. Most of the plant communities are affected by dust deposition so that community structure is altered. Epiphytic lichen and Sphagnum dominated communities are the most sensitive of those studied. However, there have been very few detailed studies on natural and semi-natural systems and some dust types are also very understudied. Recommendations for future research are made in order to overcome this deficiency. Published in Environmental Pollution, volume 79, issue 1, on pages 63 - 75, in 1993.