, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 837–845 | Cite as

Uranium, thorium and rare earth elements in macrofungi: what are the genuine concentrations?

  • Jan Borovička
  • Jaroslava Kubrová
  • Jan Rohovec
  • Zdeněk Řanda
  • Colin E. Dunn


Concentrations of uranium, thorium and rare earth elements (REE) in 36 species of ectomycorrhizal (26 samples) and saprobic (25 samples) macrofungi from unpolluted sites with differing bedrock geochemistry were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Analytical results are supported by use of certified reference materials (BCR-670, BCR-667, NIST-1575a) and the reliability of the determination of uranium was verified by epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA). It appears that data recently published on these elements are erroneous, in part because of use of an inappropriate analytical method; and in part because of apparent contamination by soil particles resulting in elevated levels of thorium and REE. Macrofungi from unpolluted areas, in general, did not accumulate high levels of the investigated metals. Concentrations of uranium and thorium were generally below 30 and 125 μg kg−1 (dry weight), respectively. Concentrations of REE in macrofungi did not exceed 360 μg kg−1 (dry weight) and their distribution more or less followed the trend observed in post-Archean shales and loess.


ICP-MS ENAA REE Fungi Bioaccumulation Metals 



We are very grateful to Tjakko Stijve and Emil Jelínek for helpful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by the projects GAUK no. 3010 (The Grant Agency of Charles University) and the project IAA600480801 (The Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic). Institutional support was provided by Institutional Research Plans (IRP) AV0Z30130516 (Institute of Geology, ASCR, Prague) and IRP AV0Z10480505 (Nuclear Physics Institute, ASCR, Řež near Prague).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Borovička
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jaroslava Kubrová
    • 3
  • Jan Rohovec
    • 1
  • Zdeněk Řanda
    • 2
  • Colin E. Dunn
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Geology, v.v.i.Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Nuclear Physics Institute, v.v.i.Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicŘež near PragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental Studies, Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPrague 2Czech Republic
  4. 4.SidneyCanada

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