Improved biomonitoring of airborne contaminants by combined use of holm oak leaves and epiphytic moss.

Chemosphere

PubMedID: 23714151

De Nicola F, Spagnuolo V, Baldantoni D, Sessa L, Alfani A, Bargagli R, Monaci F, Terracciano S, Giordano S. Improved biomonitoring of airborne contaminants by combined use of holm oak leaves and epiphytic moss. Chemosphere. 2013;92(9):1224-30.
Concentrations of 12 elements (Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb and Zn) and 16 EPA-listed PAHs were detected in Quercus ilex leaves and the epiphytic moss Leptodon smithii collected at urban, periurban and extraurban holm oak stands, in two Italian Regions (Campania and Tuscany). Levels of environmental contaminants were generally higher in leaves and moss from urban areas than periurban and extraurban ones and samples from Campania had the highest PAH content. The epiphytic moss accumulated higher concentrations of trace elements than leaves and the latter showed a higher accumulation capability for PAHs, especially for those with low molecular weight. The different bioaccumulation in leaves and moss were explained in terms of their distinctive morphological and ecophysiological characteristics. The combined approach seems a promising tool for the monitoring of a wide range of pollutants in Mediterranean urban and extraurban environments.