Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 2506–2518 | Cite as

Multi-elements atmospheric deposition study in Albania

  • Flora Qarri
  • Pranvera LazoEmail author
  • Trajce Stafilov
  • Marina Frontasyeva
  • Harry Harmens
  • Lirim Bekteshi
  • Katerina Baceva
  • Zoya Goryainova
Research Article


For the first time, the moss biomonitoring technique and inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectrometric (ICP-AES) analytical technique were applied to study multi-element atmospheric deposition in Albania. Moss samples (Hypnum cupressiforme) were collected during the summer of 2011 and September–October 2010 from 62 sites, evenly distributed over the country. Sampling was performed in accordance with the LRTAP Convention–ICP Vegetation protocol and sampling strategy of the European Programme on Biomonitoring of Heavy Metal Atmospheric Deposition. ICP-AES analysis made it possible to determine concentrations of 19 elements including key toxic metals such as Pb, Cd, As, and Cu. Cluster and factor analysis with varimax rotation was applied to distinguish elements mainly of anthropogenic origin from those predominantly originating from natural sources. Geographical distribution maps of the elements over the sampled territory were constructed using GIS technology. The median values of the elements in moss samples of Albania were high for Al, Cr, Ni, Fe, and V and low for Cd, Cu, and Zn compared to other European countries, but generally were of a similar level as some of the neighboring countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania. This study was conducted in the framework of ICP Vegetation in order to provide a reliable assessment of air quality throughout Albania and to produce information needed for better identification of contamination sources and improving the potential for assessing environmental and health risks in Albania, associated with toxic metals.


Moss biomonitoring Atmospheric deposition Trace elements ICP-AES analysis Multivariate analysis GIS technology 



The authors would like to thank MSc. Jani Marka, Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana, for supervising the sampling procedure and moss species identification. We would like to thank the Ph.D. students, Ilva Gjika and Majlinda Terpo, who were involved in the sampling, respectively, at Tirana area and Saranda, Gjirokastra, Tepelena, and Permet area. Harry Harmens would like to thank the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for the continued financial support of the ICP Vegetation (Contract AQ0816). The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are also thanked for contributions to the funding of the ICP Vegetation Programme Coordination Centre.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flora Qarri
    • 1
  • Pranvera Lazo
    • 2
    Email author
  • Trajce Stafilov
    • 3
  • Marina Frontasyeva
    • 4
  • Harry Harmens
    • 5
  • Lirim Bekteshi
    • 2
  • Katerina Baceva
    • 3
  • Zoya Goryainova
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of VloraVloraAlbania
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural SciencesUniversity of TiranaTiranaAlbania
  3. 3.Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceSts. Cyril and Methodius UniversitySkopjeMacedonia
  4. 4.Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear ResearchDubnaRussia
  5. 5.Centre for Ecology & HydrologyBangorUnited Kingdom

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