Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1474–1491 | Cite as

Heavy metals in the soil–plant system of the Don River estuarine region and the Taganrog Bay coast

  • Tatiana M. Minkina
  • Dina G. Nevidomskaya
  • Tatiana N. Pol’shina
  • Yuri A. Fedorov
  • Saglara S. Mandzhieva
  • Victor A. Chaplygin
  • Tatiana V. Bauer
  • Marina V. Burachevskaya
Phytoremediation of Polluted Soils: Recent Progress and Developments



The aim of this work was to study the level and degree of mobility of heavy metals in the soil–plant system and to perform bioindication observations in the Don River estuarine region and the Russian sector of the Taganrog Bay coast.

Materials and methods

The objects of the study included samples of zonal soils (chernozem) and intrazonal soils (alluvial meadow and alluvial-stratified soils, Solonchak, sandy primitive soil) from monitoring stations of the Don river estuarine region and the Taganrog Bay coast, as well as their higher plants: Phragmites australis Cav., Typha angustifolia L., Carex riparia Curtis, Cichorium intybus L., Bolboschoenus maritimus L. Palla, and Rumex confertus Willd. The total concentrations of Mn, Ni, Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cr in the soils were determined by X-ray fluorescent scanning spectrometer. The concentration of heavy metal mobile forms exchangeable, complex compounds, and acid-soluble metal were extracted using the following reagents: 1 N NH4Ac, pH 4.8; 1 % EDTA in NH4Ac, pH 4.8; 1 N HCl, respectively. Heavy metals in plants were prepared for analysis by dry combustion at 450 °C. The heavy metal concentration in extracts from plants and soils was determined by AAS.

Results and discussion

The total contents of heavy metals in the soil may be described with a successively decreasing series: Mn > Cr > Zn > Ni > Cu > Pb > As > Cd. The total concentrations of As, Cd, and Zn in the soil exceed the maximum permissible concentrations levels. Contamination of alluvial soils in the estuarine zone with mobile Сu, Zn, Pb, and Cd has been revealed, which is confirmed by the high bioavailability of Cu and Zn and, to a lesser degree, Cd and Pb accumulating in the tissues of macrophytic plants. Data on the translocation of elements to plant organs have showed their predominant accumulation in the roots. Bioindication by the morphofunctional parameters of macrophytic plants (with a Typha L. species as an example) can be used for revealing the existence of impact zones with elevated contents of metals in aquatic ecosystems.


The results revealed that increased content of Zn, Pb, Cu, Ni, and As in soil have anthropogenic sources. The high content of Cr in the soils is related to the lithogenic factor and, hence, has a natural source.


Bioindication Macrophytic plants Contamination Estuarine region Heavy metals Mobile compounds Soils 



The work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (grant no. 5.885.2014/K), Grant of President № МK-7285.2016.5 and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (projects no. 16-34-00573, 14-05-00586 A).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatiana M. Minkina
    • 1
  • Dina G. Nevidomskaya
    • 1
  • Tatiana N. Pol’shina
    • 2
  • Yuri A. Fedorov
    • 1
  • Saglara S. Mandzhieva
    • 1
  • Victor A. Chaplygin
    • 1
  • Tatiana V. Bauer
    • 1
  • Marina V. Burachevskaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Federal UniversityRostov-on-DonRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Arid Zones of the Southern Scientific Centre RAS, 41Rostov-on-DonRussia

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