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Active Sphagnum girgensohnii Russow Moss Biomonitoring of an Industrial Site in Romania: Temporal Variation in the Elemental Content


The moss-bag transplant technique was used to investigate the kinetics of the accumulation of 38 elements in Sphagnum girgensohni moss samples in the highly polluted municipality of Baia Mare, Romania. The moss samples collected from the unpolluted Vitosha Mountain Natural Reserve, Bulgaria, were analyzed after 1, 2, 3, and 4 months of exposure, respectively. The ANOVA method was used to assay the statistical significance of the observed changes in elemental content, as determined by neutron activation analysis. The content of Zn, Se, As, Ag, Cd, and Sb increased steadily, while that of physiologically active K and Cl, as well as Rb and Cs, decreased exponentially. The study showed that an adequate application of the moss transplant technique in an urban environment should consider the exposure time as a critical parameter, since particular elements are depleted in the moss at sites with high atmospheric loading of metals.

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We would like to thank the staff of the Department of Activation Analysis and Applied Research of FLNP, JINR for the handling of radioactive samples, Professors R. Mocanu, M. Frontasyeva, E. Steines, and (post mortem) Professor L. Yurukova for their support and advice, as well as Mariana Marinescu for her language consulting support. We would also like to express our gratitude to three anonymous referees for their useful remarks and advice.

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Correspondence to O. G. Duliu.

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Culicov, O.A., Zinicovscaia, I. & Duliu, O.G. Active Sphagnum girgensohnii Russow Moss Biomonitoring of an Industrial Site in Romania: Temporal Variation in the Elemental Content. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 650–656 (2016).

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  • Moss biomonitoring
  • Sphagnum girgensohnii
  • Industrial pollution
  • Heavy elements