The Usability of Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) as a Biomonitor for Traffic-Originated Heavy Metal Concentrations in Turkey
Burak Aricak 1  
,   Mehmet Cetin 2  
,   Ramazan Erdem 3  
,   Hakan Sevik 4  
,   Hasret Cometen 5  
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Kastamonu University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Engineering, Kastamonu, Turkey
Kastamonu University, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, Kastamonu, Turkey
Kastamonu University, Arac Rafet Vergili Vocational School, Department of Forestry, Programs of Forestry and Forestry Products, Kastamonu, Turkey
Kastamonu University, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Department of Environmental Engineering, Kastamonu, Turkey
Kastamonu University, Institute of Science, Programs of Forest Engineering, Kastamonu, Turkey
Mehmet Cetin   

Kastamonu University, Kastamonu University, Faculty of Architecture and , 37100, Kastamonu, Turkey
Submission date: 2018-12-28
Final revision date: 2019-03-14
Acceptance date: 2019-05-08
Online publication date: 2019-10-24
Publication date: 2020-01-16
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(2):1051–1057
Heavy metals are one of the most infamous air pollutants. They do not deteriorate easily in nature and they tend to bioaccumulate in nature. Because of their significance in terms of potential damage to human and environmental wellbeing, the monitoring of heavy metal pollution and identifying risk-prone regions is of great importance. Bioindicators are the most important determinants of the change in the concentration of heavy metals in the atmosphere. While plants play the biggest and most important role in reducing pollution in all of its types, they are also the ideal bioindicators. However, some plant species are better equipped to detect heavy metal accumulation than others. This study aims to determine the usability potential of Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) in monitoring traffic-based heavy metal concentrations. For this purpose, samples of Scotch pine individuals were collected from one of the busiest highways in Turkey (along the Ankara-Istanbul route) from refuges at roadsides and at distances of 3m, 10m, 30m, 50m, and 100m from the roadside. Some of the branches and needles of the samples were also subjected to washing processes and the changes of Ni, Cr and Zn concentrations were determined for these samples. The change of Ni, Cr and Zn concentrations depending on the distance to the road, washing conditions and organelle were evaluated separately. We determined that Scotch pine is a good biomonitor – especially for monitoring changes in Cr concentrations.