Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 10, Issue 8, pp 1572–1584

Are cadmium, lead and mercury concentrations in mosses across Europe primarily determined by atmospheric deposition of these metals?

  • Winfried Schröder
  • Marcel Holy
  • Roland Pesch
  • Harry Harmens
  • Ilia Ilyin
  • Eiliv Steinnes
  • Renate Alber
  • Yuliya Aleksiayenak
  • Oleg Blum
  • Mahmut Coşkun
  • Maria Dam
  • Ludwig De Temmerman
  • Marina Frolova
  • Marina Frontasyeva
  • Laura Gonzalez Miqueo
  • Krystyna Grodzińska
  • Zvonka Jeran
  • Szymon Korzekwa
  • Miodrag Krmar
  • Eero Kubin
  • Kestutis Kvietkus
  • Sébastien Leblond
  • Siiri Liiv
  • Sigurður Magnússon
  • Blanka Maňkovská
  • Juha Piispanen
  • Åke Rühling
  • Jesus Santamaria
  • Zdravko Spiric
  • Ivan Suchara
  • Lotti Thöni
  • Viktor Urumov
  • Lilyana Yurukova
  • Harald G. Zechmeister
SOILS, SEC 5 • SOIL AND LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY • RESEARCH ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s11368-010-0254-y

Cite this article as:
Schröder, W., Holy, M., Pesch, R. et al. J Soils Sediments (2010) 10: 1572. doi:10.1007/s11368-010-0254-y

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed at investigating correlations between heavy metal concentrations in mosses and modelled deposition values as well as other site-specific and regional characteristics to determine which factors primarily affect cadmium, lead and mercury concentrations in mosses. The resulting relationships could potentially be used to enhance the spatial resolution of heavy metal deposition maps across Europe.

Materials and methods

Modelled heavy metal deposition data and data on the concentration of heavy metals in naturally growing mosses were integrated into a geographic information system and analysed by means of bivariate rank correlation analysis and multivariate decision trees. Modelled deposition data were validated annually with deposition measurements at up to 63 EMEP measurement stations within the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP), and mosses were collected at up to 7,000 sites at 5-year intervals between 1990 and 2005.

Results and discussion

Moderate to high correlations were found between cadmium and lead concentrations in mosses and modelled atmospheric deposition of these metals: Spearman rank correlation coefficients were between 0.62 and 0.67, and 0.67 and 0.73 for cadmium and lead, respectively (p < 0.001). Multivariate decision tree analyses showed that cadmium and lead concentrations in mosses were primarily determined by the atmospheric deposition of these metals, followed by emissions of the metals. Low to very low correlations were observed between mercury concentrations in mosses and modelled atmospheric deposition of mercury. According to the multivariate analyses, spatial variations of the mercury concentration in mosses was primarily associated with the sampled moss species and not with the modelled deposition, but regional differences in the atmospheric chemistry of mercury and corresponding interactions with the moss may also be involved.

Conclusions

At least for cadmium and lead, concentrations in mosses are a valuable tool in determining and mapping the spatial variation in atmospheric deposition across Europe at a high spatial resolution. For mercury, more studies are needed to elucidate interactions of different chemical species with the moss.

Keywords

BiomonitoringCadmiumCorrelation analysisDepositionLeadMercuryMoss

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winfried Schröder
    • 1
  • Marcel Holy
    • 1
  • Roland Pesch
    • 1
  • Harry Harmens
    • 2
  • Ilia Ilyin
    • 3
  • Eiliv Steinnes
    • 4
  • Renate Alber
    • 5
  • Yuliya Aleksiayenak
    • 6
  • Oleg Blum
    • 7
  • Mahmut Coşkun
    • 8
  • Maria Dam
    • 9
  • Ludwig De Temmerman
    • 10
  • Marina Frolova
    • 11
  • Marina Frontasyeva
    • 12
  • Laura Gonzalez Miqueo
    • 13
  • Krystyna Grodzińska
    • 14
  • Zvonka Jeran
    • 15
  • Szymon Korzekwa
    • 16
  • Miodrag Krmar
    • 17
  • Eero Kubin
    • 18
  • Kestutis Kvietkus
    • 19
  • Sébastien Leblond
    • 20
  • Siiri Liiv
    • 21
  • Sigurður Magnússon
    • 22
  • Blanka Maňkovská
    • 23
  • Juha Piispanen
    • 18
  • Åke Rühling
    • 24
  • Jesus Santamaria
    • 13
  • Zdravko Spiric
    • 25
  • Ivan Suchara
    • 26
  • Lotti Thöni
    • 27
  • Viktor Urumov
    • 28
  • Lilyana Yurukova
    • 29
  • Harald G. Zechmeister
    • 30
  1. 1.Department of Landscape EcologyUniversity of VechtaVechtaGermany
  2. 2.Centre for Ecology and Hydrology BangorBangorUK
  3. 3.Meteorological Synthesising Centre East of EMEPMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  5. 5.Environmental Agency of BolzanoLaivesItaly
  6. 6.International Sakharov Environmental UniversityMinskBelarus
  7. 7.National Botanical GardenAcademy of Science of UkraineKievUkraine
  8. 8.Canakkale Onsekiz Mart UniversityÇanakkaleTurkey
  9. 9.Food, Veterinary and Environmental AgencyTórshavnDenmark
  10. 10.Veterinary and Agrochemical Research CentreTervurenBelgium
  11. 11.Latvian EnvironmentGeology and Meteorology AgencyRigaLatvia
  12. 12.Joint Institute for Nuclear ResearchDubnaRussia
  13. 13.University of NavarraPamplonaSpain
  14. 14.Institute of BotanyPolish Academy of SciencesKrakowPoland
  15. 15.Department of Environmental SciencesJožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  16. 16.University of OpoleOpolePoland
  17. 17.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia
  18. 18.Finnish Forest Research InstituteMuhosFinland
  19. 19.Institute of PhysicsVilniusLithuania
  20. 20.Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  21. 21.Tallinn Botanic GardenTallinnEstonia
  22. 22.Icelandic Institute of Natural HistoryReykjavíkIceland
  23. 23.Institute of Landscape EcologySlovak Academy of ScienceBratislavaSlovakia
  24. 24.OskarshamnSweden
  25. 25.Oikon Ltd.Institute for Applied EcologyZagrebCroatia
  26. 26.Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental GardeningPrůhoniceCzech Republic
  27. 27.FUB-Research Group for Environmental MonitoringRapperswilSwitzerland
  28. 28.Saints Cyril and Methodius UniversitySkopjeFYR Macedonia
  29. 29.Bulgarian Academy of SciencesInstitute of BotanySofiaBulgaria
  30. 30.University of ViennaViennaAustria