Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 108–113 | Cite as

Trace metal contents ofTaraxacum officinale (dandelion) as a convenient environmental indicator

  • Alina Kabata-Pendias
  • S. Dudka


Some vascular plants are known to concentrate trace metals and are regarded to be suitable indicators of atmospheric metal deposition. Among plant species used for biogeochemical studies dandelion (Taraxacum officinale.) is convenient for monitoring air/soil pollution. The plant commonly occurs in different ecosystems with relatively parallel stages of ontogenesis over a broad area of geographical regions. Its leaves and roots are easily accessible for sampling. Leaf to root ratios of metal concentrations in dandelion may indicate the source of metals during the growing season. Trace metals in leaves and roots of dandelion from 132 sites in Poland showed higher concentrations in the plants from the SW region compared to those from the NE region of the country. However, the differences were only statistically significant (α = 0.05) for Cd, Ni, and Pb. Geometric means of metal concentrations (mg kg−1, air dried weight) in dandelion leaves of the SW and NE regions were: Cd 0.85, 0.52; Cr 0.99, 0.81; Cu 11.2, 11.1; Fe 184.4, 100.0; Mn 59.7, 51.4; Ni 2.1, 1.5; Pb 4.4, 3.0; and Zn 49.6, 41.3, respectively. Markedly higher concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn were found in the leaves of the dandelion over roots in the SW region. These metals are the most serious aerial pollutants in that part of the country.


Geochemistry Metal Concentration Trace Metal Vascular Plant Metal Content 


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Copyright information

© Sciences and Technology Letters 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alina Kabata-Pendias
    • 1
  • S. Dudka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil Science and Cultivation of Plants (IUNG)PulawyPoland

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