Possibilities of assessing trace metal pollution using Betula pendula Roth. leaf and bark – Experience in Serbia

Dragana Pavlović, Marija Pavlović, Milica Marković, Branko Karadžić, Olga Kostić, Snežana Jarić, Miroslava Mitrović, Ivan Gržetić, Pavle Pavlović

Abstract


In this study, both seasonal and spatial variations in trace metal uptake, as well as concentration of photosynthetic pigments in Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) trees in five urban parks in Pančevo, Smederevo, Obrenovac and Belgrade (Serbia) affected by different anthropogenic activities were studied. The characteristics of soil were assessed in terms of texture, pH and trace element content. Concentrations of B, Sr and Zn in both leaves and bark showed an increasing temporal trend, however, Cu showed an opposite seasonal trend. A higher accumulation of trace elements was noticed in leaves compared to bark. The obtained results for photosynthetic pigments showed low sensitivity of birch to B, Cu, Sr and Zn contamination, indicating that birch tolerates pollution and climate stress by increasing the amount of pigments. Analysis of the effects on soil chemistry of trace element accumulation in plant tissues proved that soil chemistry poorly explains the variability of elements in bark (27.6 %) compared to leaves (82.99 %). Discriminant analysis showed that Belgrade and Smederevo are clearly separated from the other three sites. 


Keywords


urban pollution; biomonitoring; photosynthetic pigments; plant tissue; soil.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/JSC170113024P

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