A study on detecting heavy metal accumulation through biomonitoring: content of trace elements in plants at mount Kazdağı in Turkey
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The purpose of this study is to determine the present levels of atmospheric heavy metal pollution in the area of the Kazdagi Mountain in the Aegean region in the western part of Turkey. Twenty-five different plants were selected as potential biomonitors of trace elements including nickel, iron, zinc, lead, cadmium, and manganese (g g(-1), dry weight). The samples were collected from two different heights of Mt. Kazdagi. Atomic absorption spectrometry was used to determine the concentrations of trace elements. The mean concentrations determined at 600 m altitude ranged from 0.107 to 0.442, 0.269 to 0.619, 0.873 to 9.030, 0.338 to 0.523 and 0.143 to 2.823 (mu g g(-1), dry weight), for Ni, Zn, Fe, Pb and Mn, respectively. At 1100 m altitude, the values ranged from 0.119 to 1.806, 0.232 to 0.792, 0.618 to 5.720, 0.371 to 0.534 and 0.766 to 4.782 (mu g g(-1), dry weight) for Ni, Zn, Fe, Pb and Mn, respectively. No Cd was found at either altitude. For the determination of the existence of any differences between the averages of the herbaceous and woody plants, comparisons were made in the independent sample t-test. In the statistical analysis, comparison of heavy metal pollution values of herbaceous and woody plants for Ni, Fe and Mn was significant (P < 0.05), while it was not for Pb and Zn.