Heavy Metal Concentrations in European Mosses: 2000/2001 Survey
The heavy metals in mosses survey was originally established in 1980 as a joint Danish–Swedish initiative under the leadership of Åke Rühling, Sweden and has, since then, been repeated at five-yearly intervals with an increasing number of countries and individuals participating. Twenty-eight European countries, almost 7000 sites and about 100 individuals have been involved in the most recent survey in 2000/2001. The survey provides data on concentrations of 10 heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, mercury, nickel, vanadium, zinc) in naturally growing mosses throughout Europe. The technique of moss analysis provides a surrogate measure of the spatial patterns of heavy metal deposition from the atmosphere to terrestrial systems, and is easier and cheaper than conventional precipitation analysis. The aims of the survey are to determine patterns of variation in the heavy metal concentration of mosses across Europe, identify the main polluted areas, produce regional maps and further develop the understanding of long-range transboundary pollution.
As in previous surveys, there was an east/west decrease in heavy metal concentrations in mosses, related in particular to industrial emissions. Former industrial sites and historic mines accounted for the location of some high concentrations in areas without contemporary industries. Long-range transboundary transport appears to account for elevated concentrations of heavy metals in areas without emission sources, such as lead in southern Scandinavia (presumably from emission sources elsewhere in Europe).
Keywordsatmospheric deposition heavy metals long-range transboundary air pollution mosses trace elements
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Berg, T., Hjellbrekke, A., Rühling, å., Steinnes, E., Kubin, E., Larsen, M. M., and Piispanen, J., 2003: Absolute deposition maps of heavy metals for the Nordic countries based on the moss survey, TemaNord 2003:505, Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen, Denmark.Google Scholar
- Berg, T. and Steinnes, E., 1997: Use of mosses (Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi) as biomonitors of heavy metal deposition: From relative to absolute values, Environ. Pollut. 98, 61–71.Google Scholar
- Büker, P., Mills, G., Harmens, H., Buse, A., Norris, D., and Cinderby, S., 2003: Results of a study focussing on the optimization of spatial distribution maps and the determination of factors influencing data variation, UNECE ICP Vegetation Coordination Centre, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor, UK.Google Scholar
- Buse, A., Norris, D., Harmens, H., Büker, P., Ashenden, T., and Mills, G., 2003: Heavy metals in European mosses: 2000/2001 survey, UNECE ICP Vegetation Coordination Centre, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor, UK.Google Scholar
- Gjengedal, E. and Steinnes, E., 1990: Uptake of metal ions in moss from artificial precipitation, Environ. Monit. Assess. 14, 77–87.Google Scholar
- Reimann, C., Niskavaara, H., Kashulina, G., Filzmoser, P., Boyd, R., Volden, T., Tomilina, O., and Bogatyrev, I., 2001: Critical remarks on the use of terrestrial moss (Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi) for monitoring of airborne pollution, Environ. Pollut. 113, 41–57.Google Scholar
- Rühling, å. and Steinnes, E., 1998: Atmospheric heavy metal deposition in Europe 1995–1996, NORD 1998:15, Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen, Denmark.Google Scholar
- Rühling, å. and Tyler, G., 1968: An ecological approach to the lead problem, Botaniska Notiser 122, 248–342.Google Scholar
- Schaug, J., Rambæk, J. P., Steinnes, E., and Henry, R. C., 1990: Multivariate analysis of trace element data from moss samples used to monitor atmospheric deposition, Atmos. Environ. 24A, 2625–2631.Google Scholar
- Steinnes, E., Rühling, å., Lippo, H., and Mäkinen, A., 1997: Reference material for large-scale metal deposition surveys, Accredit. Qual. Assur. 2, 243–249.Google Scholar
- Tyler, G., 1970: Moss analysis—a method for surveying heavy metal deposition, in Proceedings of Second International Clean Air Congress, December 6–11, Washington, USA.Google Scholar
- UNECE, 2001: ICP vegetation experimental protocol for the 2001 season, ICP Vegetation Coordination Centre, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor, UK.Google Scholar