Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 207–226 | Cite as

Factor analysis of trace-element data from tree-bark samples in The Netherlands

  • P. Kuik
  • H. Th. Wolterbeek


Monte Carlo-assisted factor analysis has been applied to a data set of 20 trace-element concentrations in tree-bark samples obtained from 123 locations in The Netherlands, with the aim to investigate the suitability of bark as a biomonitor for air pollution. A Monte Carlo approach was used to give more insight to the uncertainties and significance levels of the factor analysis results. Notwith-standing a rather strong influence of soil material on the concentration levels, factor analysis enabled the identification of five significant pollution source types, all of which corresponded with source types found in an earlier biomonitoring study in The Netherlands using epiphytic lichens. A more detailed comparison with the lichen results showed a remarkable difference in lead concentrations between bark and lichen. It was concluded that bark can be successfully employed as a biomonitor for air pollution. The power of factor analysis to adequately determine the soil contribution may render extensive sample washing procedures superfluous.


Bark Concentration Level Pollution Source Detailed Comparison Remarkable Difference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Kuik
    • 1
  • H. Th. Wolterbeek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiochemistryDelft University of Technology, Interfaculty Reactor InstituteDelftThe Netherlands

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