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Pb and Cd Contents in Soil, Water, and Trees at an Afforestation Site, South China

Abstract

Pb and Cd contents in 13 plantation tree species (leaf and branch components), soil, water (groundwater and river water) at a young (3–5 year-old) seashore afforestation stand were investigated in Nansha district, Guangzhou city in southern China. The results showed that (1) soil, rather than water or trees, had the highest content of both Pb (averagely 48.79 mg/kg) and Cd (0.50 mg/kg), demonstrating that soil might function as a major reservoir for extraneously derived heavy metals; (2) Pb content was higher in branches than in leaves, but Cd content appeared similar in both components, implying possibly different accumulation mechanisms in trees; (3) Pb and Cd appeared to accumulate differently among some tree taxa, whereas almost no significant difference was detected between introduced and indigenous species. The study indicated that trees were potentially useful to remediate sites contaminated with Pb and Cd in the urbanized areas.

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Acknowledgments

This study was financially supported by the Special Fund for Forest Scientific Research in the Public Welfare (20140430105), NSF-China (31200471), the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China (RITFYWZX201208), and the CFERN and GENE Award Funds on Ecological Paper.

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Correspondence to Bufeng Chen.

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Pei, N., Chen, B. & Liu, S. Pb and Cd Contents in Soil, Water, and Trees at an Afforestation Site, South China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 95, 632–637 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-015-1625-2

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Keywords

  • Phytoremediation
  • Heavy metal
  • Mega-city
  • Urban forest
  • Pearl River Delta