An investigation on determining heavy metal accumulation in plants growing at Kumalar Mountain in Turkey
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Background: Biomonitoring approach has been widely used to evaluate the environmental quality and detect the presence of inorganic and organic pollutants that are not routinely measured by conventional monitoring in the air. Material and Methods: Twenty-five plant samples were obtained from twenty-three species used as biomonitors and found at two different altitudes in Kumalar Mountain with the aim of examining the levels of heavy metals. The concentrations of these elements were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The levels of the heavy metals Al, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn and Zn (μg g-1, dry weight) in plant samples supplied from different altitudes of Kumalar Mountain were assessed. Results: As a result of this study, the following mean concentrations were determined at different altitudes of Kumalar Mountain: The contents of Al, Ba, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn (μg g-1, dry weight) ranged from 51.902 to 2960.650, 4.247 to 194.646, 0.927 to 21.024, 113.938 to 4289.115, 26.832 to 635.724 and 4.424 to 75.822, respectively. No Cd, Cr, Pb, Ni and Sn values were determined in the samples collected from both heights. Conclusions: The accumulation of heavy metals such as iron (Fe) in some plant samples was found to be significantly higher than the normal accumulation levels.