Suuroja, M., Petersell, V., Meidla, T.

The comparison of Cd, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, Pb, Zn concentrations in ash of the roots of some herbaceous plant species (Filipendula ulmaria, Carex species, Urtica dioica).


A common problem in biogeochemical mapping and contamination studies is that the same plant species are not available everywhere. Filipendula ulmaria is a widely used indicator plant but it does not grow in dry and high altitude areas. We used different plant species (F. ulmariaCarex species and Urtica dioica) and analysed the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Pb, Zn and P in the material from 19 sampling points in eastern Estonia. The geometric mean concentrations of Pb, Cd and Zn were similar in F. ulmaria and Carex, as were the dominating ranges of Cu, Mn and Zn. The geometric mean concentrations typically differ between F. ulmaria and U. dioica.

Simultaneous use of multiple indicator plants could generally not be recommended. Still, in case of urgent need the results could be amalgamated for the elements with more than 50% similarity of dominating ranges in different plants.


Keywords AAS • ash • concentration • elements • heavy metals • biogeochemical mapping

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