National Academy Science Letters

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 45–50 | Cite as

Elemental Composition of Plants and Multivariate Analysis

  • Vinod KumarEmail author
  • Anket Sharma
  • Renu Bhardwaj
  • A. K. Thukral
Short Communication


Fourteen elements such as C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Fe, Cu and Mn were determined in the leaves of plant samples collected from the catchment areas of river Beas using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Various multivariate techniques such as cluster analysis (CA), factor analysis (FA) and principal component analysis (PCA) were used for the analysis of data. CA showed that Saccharum bengalense, Cenchrus ciliaris and Typha angustata from the order Poales are included in the same group. The first three components of PCA explained 78.35% of the total variance. In FA, factor-1 explained 41% of the total variance and had loadings more than 0.7 on Mg, S, Cl, K and Ca. Factor-2 accounted for 22% of the total variance and had significant loading (− 0.868) on O. Factor-3 comprising of Si with a loading of 0.951 explained 14% of the total variance. It is inferred from FA, that first factor is based mainly on the active uptake of nutrients from the soil, the second factor constitutes the uptake of O as gaseous absorption from atmosphere or atmospheric driven transpiration pull, and the third factor is the passive absorption of SiO2.


Beas river Elements Multivariate techniques SEM–EDX 



The author Vinod Kumar is thankful to the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, for providing research fellowships under scheme “University with Potential for Excellence” and National fellowship.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinod Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anket Sharma
    • 1
  • Renu Bhardwaj
    • 1
  • A. K. Thukral
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botanical and Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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