Krūmiņš J., Kļaviņš M., Kalniņa L., Segliņš V., Kaup E.

Impact of the physico-chemical properties of fen peat on the metal accumulation patterns in mires of Latvia


Abstract The article presents a study of the physico-chemical properties of fen peat and their influence on the metal accumulation patterns in three Latvian fens: Svētupes Mire, Elku Mire and Vīķu Mire. Full peat profiles were obtained at all study sites and analysed with a multi-proxy approach. The content of metals in fen peat was determined using the atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and normalised to the concentration of Ti in the studied peat profiles. Both the character of deposits and agricultural land use in the mire catchment areas were taken into account and the possible natural and anthropogenic metal supply sources were evaluated. The content of metals in the studied fen peat significantly varied due to the heterogeneity of fen environment; however, noticeable similarities were also traced throughout all study sites. The results indicate an increased amount of transition metals and Pb in the upper peat layer. This can be explained by a direct impact from anthropogenic sources (agricultural land use, pollution, etc.). Metal binding in fen peat profiles is directly related to the alkali and alkaline earth metal content in peat, as Ca, Mg, Na and K ions are replaced by more tightly bound metal ions. In raised bogs, in turn, metal binding is associated with the acidic functional groups common to peat.


Keywords fen peat, metals, peat physico-chemical properties

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