PAHs Accumulations in Plant Leaves Around Coal-Fired Power Plant and Identification of their Potential Use as Bioindicators

  • Qin YangEmail author
  • Tianyi Luo
  • Jianghong Yang
  • Huaguo ChenEmail author


The purpose of this study was to investigate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) accumulation in leaves of different plant species growing in the neighborhood of coal-fired power plant (CPP) and to identify potential bioindicators for PAHs pollution monitoring. The study was performed in 8 sites in the surrounding areas of CPP. PAHs concentrations in leaves of 21 plant species growing within 1 km of CPP ranged from 0.043 to 4.52 µg g−1. A higher mean concentration of PAHs was found in leaves of perennial herbs and shrubs compared with annual herbs and trees. Herbaceous plants had the highest concentrations of 5–6 rings PAHs, and 4-ring PAHs mainly existed in shrubs. For 2- to 3-rings PAHs, there was no significant difference among herbaceous plants trees and shrubs. Then, four representative plants were further chosen for investigating the effect of CPP on the spatial distribution patterns of PAH compounds. No distinct difference in the level of 2- to 3-rings PAHs was observed on Broussonetia kaempferi Sieb, whereas 4 rings, 5–6 rings, and Σ16PAHs had regional statistical differences. PAHs in Kalimeris indica (L.) Sch.-Bip had significant regional statistical differences. With the change of distance, the concentration of PAHs showed a significant decrease. Taraxacum mongolicum tended to capture the largest amount of both total PAHs and 5- to 6-ring PAHs, especially to BaP. These results could improve scientific evidence for the screening of bioindicators, in particular, T. mongolicum could be a priority.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the present work by China National Natural Science Foundation (No. 21667008), Guizhou province Natural Science Program (No. [2017]1053), Guizhou Provincial Education Agency Program (No. KY (2016) 115), and Guizhou University “Talent introduction” Program (No. (2016) 10).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Civil EngineeringGuizhou UniversityGuiyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guizhou Key Laboratory of Comprehensive Utilization of Nonmetallic Mineral ResourcesGuizhou UniversityGuiyangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Engineering Laboratory for Quality Control and Evaluation Technology of MedicineGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangPeople’s Republic of China

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