Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 120, Issue 1–2, pp 1–20 | Cite as

Effects of Water Acidity and Metal Concentration on Accumulation and Within-Plant Distribution of Metals in the Aquatic Bryophyte Fontinalis antipyretica

  • M. D. Vázquez
  • J. A. Fernández
  • J. López
  • A. Carballeira


With the aim of investigating the effects of wateracidity and metal concentrations on the accumulationof heavy metals by aquatic bryophytes, batches of Fontinalis antipyretica Hedw. were transplanted froma clean site to one of four sites with characteristicsranging from clean to severely contaminated (highacidity and high heavy metal concentrations). After 1–35 days, metal levels were determined in theextracellular and intracellular compartments of thetransplanted material. The results show that heavymetal uptake is clearly lower in acid waters than innear-neutral waters, possibly due to competitivedisplacement of metal cations from extracellularbinding sites and membrane transport proteins byprotons. The reduced accumulation is particularlymarked in the extracellular compartment; theintracellular compartment shows rapid accumulation oflarge amounts of metal, followed by equally rapidrelease. The effects of heavy metals and acidity onphysiology were also investigated, on the basis oflevels of the essential cations potassium (K),magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) in the extracellularand intracellular compartments. Bryophytestransplanted to the severely contaminated sites showedloss of intracellular K (indicating altered membranepermeability), loss of extracellular Mg, and loss ofboth extra- and intracellular Ca (implying damage tothe cell wall).

acidity Ca extra-intracellular F. antipyretica heavy metals Mg transplants 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Vázquez
    • 1
  • J. A. Fernández
    • 1
  • J. López
    • 2
  • A. Carballeira
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecoloxía, Facultade de BioloxíaUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Ecoloxía, Facultade de CienciasUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain

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