, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 195–199 | Cite as

Distribution of Cd and Zn in annual xylem rings of young spruce trees [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] grown in contaminated soil

  • Jürgen Hagemeyer
  • Katharina Lohrie


Concentrations and total amounts of Cd and Zn in individual annual xylem increments of 5-year-old spruce trees (Picea abies) were investigated after one growing season in contaminated soils. The plants had been potted in soils amended with different concentrations of Cd and Zn and kept in open air conditions. In the outer xylem rings formed during the treatment period lowest concentrations of Cd and Zn were found. In inner rings concentrations of both elements increased and were highest at the pith. Total amounts of both elements showed reversed distribution patterns with highest values in the outermost rings. The observed increase of total dry matter of the rings from pith towards the outer rings was stronger than the parallel increase in total element amounts in the rings. Thus, concentrations dropped in younger rings. The time of the soil contamination event cannot be inferred from element concentrations in annual rings. The results challenge the concept of monitoring historical trends in trace element pollution using analytical data of tree rings of conifers.

Key words

Cadmium Picea abies Tree rings Xylem Zinc 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Hagemeyer
    • 1
  • Katharina Lohrie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Faculty of BiologyBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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