Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 1013–1023 | Cite as

The distribution of heavy metal in surface soils and their uptake by plants along roadside slopes in longitudinal range gorge region, China

  • Hui Zhao
  • Baoshan CuiEmail author
  • Kejiang Zhang
Original Article


Metal distributions (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) in the soils and plants were investigated in roadside surface soils and grass herbage collected from two study sites adjacent to Mangshi–Ruili and Dali–Baoshan highways. At each study site, soil and plant samples were collected along two roadside slopes with distances of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 m away from the highway. Results show that the enrichment of heavy metals in the surface soils and plants along the road is caused by the highway, and it decreases with the increasing distance from the road. Metal concentrations in the soils and plants along the downslope are higher than those in the upslope along the road. The six types of metals investigated in this research mainly distributed within 200 m from the highway. Four types of relationships between metal uptake by plants from soils and the distance were found and their clear distinctions of Cr, Cu, Pd, Ni and Zn uptake by plants were also investigated.


Highway Mountain area Slope Heavy metal Soil Plant 



This research was funded by Natural Science Fund Project of China (No. U0833002; 40571149), the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2003CB415104). We acknowledge the constructive comments and suggestions of anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution ControlBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Civil Engineering Department, The Centre of Environmental Engineering Research and Education (CEERE), Schulich School of EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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