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Accumulative response of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) to heavy metals enhanced by Pb-Zn ore mining and processing plants: Explicitly spatial considerations of ordinary kriging based on a GIS approach

Pająk, Marek, Halecki, Wiktor, Gąsiorek, Michał
Chemosphere 2017 v.168 pp. 851-859
Betula pendula, Pinus sylvestris, algorithms, cadmium, chromium, copper, emissions, geographic information systems, heavy metals, kriging, lead, leaves, mining, plant tissues, pollution, soil, zinc, Poland
Plants have an accumulative response to heavy metals present in soils or deposited from airborne sources of emissions. Therefore, their tissues are very often used in studies of heavy metal contamination originating from different sources as a bioindicator of environmental pollution. This research was undertaken to examine accumulation capacities of Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu and Cr in washed and unwashed needles of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and leaves of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) growing in a contaminated area.We collected needles of Scots pine and leaves of silver birch in an area around a sedimentation pond and metallurgic plant processing Pb and Zn ores near Olkusz, Poland. Concentrations of heavy metals, which have been linked with exposure to emissions, were determined from foliar samples collected at 33 sites. These sites were established at various distances (0.5–3.6 km) from the pond and metallurgic plant so as to identify the predominant accumulative response of plants. Spatial gradients for Pb and Zn were calculated using an ordinary kriging interpolation algorithm. A spatial pattern was identified by a GIS method to visualize maps over the Pb-Zn ore mining area. The accumulation of Zn (R2 = 0.74, p < 0.05) and Pb (R2 = 0.85, p < 0.01) in plant tissues correlated with soil concentrations. This tendency was not found in the case of Cu, Cd and Cr.