The Use of Wetlands for the Monitoring of Non-Point Source Air Pollution
M. Malawska, A. Ekonomiuk
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University of Warsaw, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Botany, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warsaw Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2008;17(1):57–70
The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in plant and organic soil from 14 peatland sites in NE Poland and 7 peatland sites in SE Poland have been investigated. The total PAH concentration in the leaves of Ledum palustre collected from peatlands in NE Poland ranged from 232 ng/g to 1523 ng/g and was higher than the total PAH concentration in pine needles (Pinus sylvestris) taken from those same peatlands (the values ranged from 181 to307 ng/g). A similar trend was observed in the case of plants from the peatlands in SE Poland, except that the overall PAH concentration in the majority of the plant samples was found to be higher than those found in NE Poland. Phenanthrene and fluoranthene had the biggest share in the overall PAH concentration in all the peat and plant samples. The lack of 5- and 6-ringed PAHs in the plant and soil material indicates the lack of any direct emission sources of these compounds in regions adjacent to those examined in the study. Total sum of PAH pollution levels in peats and plants as well as vertical distribution of the concentrations in the soil profile of particular study sites integrates long-range pollution sources. To compare natural and antropogenic PAH input in the pealtlands, we have used parent PAH ratios: ANT/(ANT&PHE); FLT/(FLT&PYR). Our data suggest that PAHs with four and more rings do not allow a simple segregation into combustion or petroleum sources.