Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 355–364 | Cite as

The use of olive tree (Olea europaea L.) leaves as a bioindicator for environmental pollution in the Province of Aydın, Turkey

  • Dilek Turan
  • Cemre Kocahakimoglu
  • Pınar Kavcar
  • Handan Gaygısız
  • Levent Atatanir
  • Cafer Turgut
  • Sait C. Sofuoglu
Research Article



In this study, olive tree leaves, collected from 50 sampling sites throughout the Province of Aydın, Turkey, were used to estimate level of pollution by measuring Al, As, B, Ba, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, and Zn concentrations and calculating pollution factor (PF) values.

Materials and methods

After sample preparation, collected leaves were microwave digested, and extracts were analyzed by an inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer.

Results and discussion

The maximum PF values were ≥10 for a number of elements ranging from 11–13 (Al, As, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni) to >100 for Cu, Li, and Na. Urban–rural and roadside–nonroadside concentration comparisons showed that some of the elements (As, Cu, and Pb) were at significantly higher levels on urban and/or roadside sampling sites.

Summary and conclusion

Correlations and factor analysis showed that there may be common sources for some elements, which included several soil types and anthropogenic activities. Based on the results of the statistical source apportionment, possible sources were narrowed down with help of the constructed elemental concentration maps. In conclusion, utilization of olive tree leaves for biomonitoring and assessment of environmental pollution was shown to be possible in the Mediterranean region where they are indigenous and cultivated.


Elemental concentrations Olive leaves Biomonitoring Source apportionment 



Olive leaves were collected by Duygu Ates in a research project supported by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (Grant No. 107O170). We thank Environmental Research Center of İzmir Institute of Technology for the microwave digestions and the ICP-MS analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dilek Turan
    • 1
  • Cemre Kocahakimoglu
    • 1
    • 4
  • Pınar Kavcar
    • 1
  • Handan Gaygısız
    • 2
  • Levent Atatanir
    • 3
  • Cafer Turgut
    • 3
  • Sait C. Sofuoglu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineeringİzmir Institute of TechnologyİzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Environmental Research Centerİzmir Institute of TechnologyİzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of AgricultureAdnan Menderes UniversityAydınTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Chemical and Biological EngineeringKoc UniversityİstanbulTurkey

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