Biomonitoring studies, based on pollutant accumulation analyses in tree leaves, allow evaluating the impact caused by air–dispersed pollutants on ecosystems, providing useful data, complementary to those obtained by instrumental monitoring. In particular, leaves of sclerophylls present morphological characteristics, such as the presence of hairs and of a tick cuticle, making them particularly useful in bioaccumulation studies. The first aim of this research was to compare heavy metal (HM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) leaf accumulation capabilities of two Mediterranean tree species. The second aim was to evaluate the impact of a cement plant and/or of other anthropogenic activities occurring in industrial and urban areas on HM and PAH depositions. For these purposes, holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) and olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves collected along a transect industrial–urban–remote sites in southern Italy were employed. A different accumulation degree was observed for the two species. For HMs, Q. ilex leaves had the highest concentrations. The results showed that the influence of the cement plant emissions on pollutant concentrations was substantial in the area closer to clinker production and storage with the highest Pb, Ni, V, Cr, Fe, indeno(1,2,3–c,d)pyrene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene and benzo(a)anthracene leaf concentrations. However, Q. ilex leaves showed high HM and PAH concentrations also in the urban site, in relation to vehicular traffic emissions and depositions. The comparison of the results of the present study with those from the literature indicates that the overall air quality of the studied sites is not particularly compromised, also in proximity of the cement production. The use of holm oak should be preferred in biomonitoring due to its wider distribution compared to O. europaea.

Air biomonitoring of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons near a cement plant

BALDANTONI, Daniela;ALFANI, Anna
2014

Abstract

Biomonitoring studies, based on pollutant accumulation analyses in tree leaves, allow evaluating the impact caused by air–dispersed pollutants on ecosystems, providing useful data, complementary to those obtained by instrumental monitoring. In particular, leaves of sclerophylls present morphological characteristics, such as the presence of hairs and of a tick cuticle, making them particularly useful in bioaccumulation studies. The first aim of this research was to compare heavy metal (HM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) leaf accumulation capabilities of two Mediterranean tree species. The second aim was to evaluate the impact of a cement plant and/or of other anthropogenic activities occurring in industrial and urban areas on HM and PAH depositions. For these purposes, holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) and olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves collected along a transect industrial–urban–remote sites in southern Italy were employed. A different accumulation degree was observed for the two species. For HMs, Q. ilex leaves had the highest concentrations. The results showed that the influence of the cement plant emissions on pollutant concentrations was substantial in the area closer to clinker production and storage with the highest Pb, Ni, V, Cr, Fe, indeno(1,2,3–c,d)pyrene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene and benzo(a)anthracene leaf concentrations. However, Q. ilex leaves showed high HM and PAH concentrations also in the urban site, in relation to vehicular traffic emissions and depositions. The comparison of the results of the present study with those from the literature indicates that the overall air quality of the studied sites is not particularly compromised, also in proximity of the cement production. The use of holm oak should be preferred in biomonitoring due to its wider distribution compared to O. europaea.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4338453
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