Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 276-286

First online:

Progress in Understanding the Sources, Deposition and Above-ground Fate of Trichloroacetic Acid (11 pp)

  • Neil CapeAffiliated withDr J Neil Cape Head of Site Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Edinburgh Research Station Bush Estate Penicuik Midlothian EH26 0QB UNITED KINGDOM Email author 
  • , Sandor ForczekAffiliated withSándor T. Forczek Institute of Experimental Botany Czech Academy of Sciences Videnska 1083 142 20 Prague 4 Czech Republic
  • , Gabor GullnerAffiliated withGábor Gullner Plant Protection Institute Hungarian Academy of Sciences 1022 Budapest Herman Otto u. 15 Hungary
  • , Gilda Mena-BenitezAffiliated withGilda Mena-Benitez CNAP-Department of Biology University of York PO Box 373 York YO10 5YW UK
  • , Peter SchröderAffiliated withPD Dr. Peter Schröder FAM-Koordination Institut für Bodenökologie GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit Ingolstädter Landstr. 1 D-85764 Neuherberg Email author 
  • , Miroslav MatuchaAffiliated withDr. Miroslav Matucha Isotope Laboratory (IEB) Institute of Experimental Botany Ac. Sci. Czech Rep. Videnska 1083 CZ-14220 Prague 4 Czech Rep. Email author 

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Aim and Scope This paper is a companion to the recent review paper by Laturnus et al. (2005) on TCA in soils, presenting a complementary review of knowledge gaps in the sources and fate of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) in plants.

Main Features

The review considers the various sources of TCA precursors, including the question of how much atmospheric TCA comes from naturally-produced precursors, and addresses the implications of climate change on atmospheric TCA formation. Models of the conversion of precursors to TCA in the atmosphere are critically compared with field measurements of concentrations, deposition and budgets; data on the quantitative relationships between gas-phase TCA, particulate TCA, and TCA dissolved in rain and clouds are reviewed. Methods for quantifying TCA are summarised, along with a description of what the different techniques measure, and how results can be compared. A distinction is made between 'extractable' TCA and 'total' TCA in vegetation. Evidence for the various pathways by which TCA enters plants is given, including the in situ production of TCA in leaves. This leads to a better understanding of how plant tissue concentrations depend on uptake, production and removal rates. Finally, knowledge of the toxic effects of TCA on plants and TCA metabolism in plant tissues is summarised.

Results and Discussion

The discussion highlights knowledge gaps, and is intended to aid the reader in interpreting previously published results through identifying where different ways of expressing data have been used, and the consequent conclusions that can be drawn.


and Further Research Directions Recommendations are given for future research directions – in identifying precursor sources, quantifying heterogeneous atmospheric processes, recognising and quantifying uptake pathways, and elucidating the biochemical mechanisms involved in sequestering and degrading TCA inside leaves.

TCA in plants TCA precursors transport processes antioxidant enzymes natural production detoxification atmospheric TCA