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Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in Tibetan forest soil: profile distribution and processes

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Abstract

Tibetan forests are located in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau, where the climate is dominated by the Indian monsoon. Due to the affinity to pollution sources and high organic carbon stocks, the fate of persistent organic pollutants in the Tibetan forests should be given more attention. In this study, seven soil profiles were investigated to obtain the vertical distribution of the organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Tibetan forest soil. The results indicate that the DDTs are highly stable in the soil, with limited volatilization and leaching, while the more volatile PCBs were found in the deeper mineral layer, which means that they can translocate through the organic layer and move farther downward into the deep soil. The air-to-ground fluxes (estimated by the age of the organic layer) of the DDTs are one magnitude higher than those reported in a study on the Alps, suggesting the higher accumulation of DDTs by the Tibetan forest.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41071321 and 41222010), and the authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the K. C. Wong Education Foundation, Hong Kong.

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Correspondence to Xiaoping Wang.

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Responsible editor: Ester Heath

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Wang, X., Xue, Y., Gong, P. et al. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in Tibetan forest soil: profile distribution and processes. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 1897–1904 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-2079-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-2079-x

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