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[en] The accumulation ability of the major elements sulphur, nitrogen and carbon by the moss Sphagnum capillifolium (Ehrh.) Hedw. and the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea (L.) Zopf exposed in bags in Naples urban area,was investigated. Bags were exposed at the beginning of July 1999 and gathered in two subsequent moments: at the end of the dry season (after 10 weeks of exposure) and during the wet season (after 17 weeks of exposure), to include the effects of rainy conditions. Sulphur and N content of the lichen increased all over the exposure period, while the level of C did not change significantly either after 10 or 17 weeks of exposition. For the moss the S accumulation was limited to the dry period of exposure, whereas N and C content decreased with exposure. Results, in contrast with those obtained in a previous study on trace elements bioaccumulation [Adamo et al., Environmental Pollution, (2003) 122, 91-103], suggest that accumulation of gaseous pollutants is strongly influenced by biomonitor vitality and that lichen bags are a more reliable and effective tool for monitoring S, N and C atmospheric depositions in urban areas compared to moss bags, because of greater lichen resistance to dry and stressing conditions of urban environment. - The lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea is more effective than the moss Sphagnum capillifolium as S and N pollutants biomonitor
[en] The fruticose lichen Stereocaulon vesuvianum, growing on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius (south Italy), was used as a biomonitor of 134Cs, 137Cs, 103Ru and 106Ru derived from the April 26 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident. Samples were taken at five different quotes (370, 490, 580, 780 and 960 m a.s.l.) and four successive dates (October 1986, December 1986, October 1987 and May 1999). At the first sampling, the concentrations (as Bq kg-1 dry weight) ranged between 460 and 1020 for 134Cs, 1330 and 2500 for 137Cs, 90 and 200 for 103Ru and 360 and 710 for 106Ru, values generally lower in respect to those measured in soil and higher plants. Of the total 137Cs measured only 14% was due to 1950s and 1960s nuclear weapons tests fallout. Highest average activities of all nuclides were observed at the quote of 960 m and significant correlation (0.7< r2<0.9) with altitude was found for 106Ru and 137Cs values. The time span between the first two samplings (38 days) was enough to highlight only the decay of 103Ru (T1/2=40 days). At sampling performed 1 year later (October 1987) only 134Cs, 137Cs, and 106Ru were observed. Thirteen years after the Chernobyl incident (May 1999), although a decrease was obvious with time, the 137Cs content in lichen thallus was still appreciable (270-570 Bq kg-1 dw). Experimental results from the first three samplings yield effective residence time of 0.98±0.07, 5.9±0.3 and 1.6±0.1 years for 106Ru, 137Cs and 134Cs, respectively. The last sampling of May 1999 allowed to achieve a more precise determination of lifetime of 137Cs (6.1±0.4 years). - Elimination of radionuclides accumulated by the lichen Stereocaulon vesuvianum appears to be a slow process
[en] Trace element accumulation by lichen in bags is more affected by meteorological conditions compared with moss. - This paper presents the results of a bioaccumulation study of trace elements in the Naples urban area based on the use of the moss Sphagnum capillifolium (Ehrh.) Hedw. and the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea (L.) Zopf exposed in bags in 23 sites. Moss and lichen bags were exposed for 4 months starting from the beginning of July 1999. Bags gathering was carried out after 10 weeks of exposure, at the end of the dry season, and after 17 weeks, during the wet season. The elements Al, As, Ca, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Ti, V and Zn were analysed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry ICP-MS in both biomonitors. For the majority of the elements the total amounts found in S. capillifolium were higher than in P. furfuracea whether considering the whole period of exposure or the weekly uptake. It was observed that there was a much greater difference in metal accumulation by P. furfuracea between the dry and wet seasons compared with S. capillifolium. In the wet period, the lichen seems to accumulate a larger quantity of metals. With the exception of Mn, trace element concentrations did not appear to be significantly affected by the washing away of rainfall. K loss during exposure suggested cell membrane damage in both organisms. For P. furfuracea the K leakage was limited to the dry period of exposure. A clear distinction between 'lithophilic' and 'anthropogenic' elements was achieved by cluster analysis. Significant correlations were found among Fe-Cu-Cr-Ni, Pb-Cd-Co, V-Cr-Ni, Zn-Ni-Pb, suggesting a common source for each group of elements
[en] Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn in the surface and sub-surface soils of the Naples city urban area have been studied and compared with historical data. - Concentrations of surface and sub-surface soil Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn in the Naples city urban area were measured in 1999. Contour maps were constructed to describe the metals spatial distribution. In the most contaminated soil samples, metals were speciated by means of the European Commission sequential extraction procedure. At twelve sites, Cu, Pb and Zn levels in soil were compared with those from a 1974 sampling. Many surface soils from the urban area as well as from the eastern industrial district contained levels of Cu, Pb and Zn that largely exceeded the limits (120, 100 and 150 mg kg-1 for Cu, Pb and Zn, respectively) set for soils of public, residential and private areas by the Italian Ministry of Environment. Chromium values were never above regulatory limits (120 mg kg-1). Copper apparently accumulates in soils contiguous to railway lines and tramway. Cu and Cr existed in soil mainly in organic forms (∼68%), whereas Pb occurs essentially as residual mineral phases (77%). The considerable presence of Zn in the soluble, exchangeable and carbonate bound fraction (23%) suggests this element has high potential bioavailability and leachability through the soil. Concentrations of Cu, Pb and Zn have greatly increased since the 1974 sampling, with higher accumulation in soils from roadside fields
[en] A biomonitoring of airborne trace elements was performed in 2006 in Naples urban area through the exposure of devitalised Hypnum cupressiforme for 10 weeks at 4 m height. In one street, the moss was exposed at different heights to assess vertical gradients of element concentrations. Results were compared with those of a 1999 biosurvey. Correlations among Al, Fe and Ti suggested a soil particles contribution to element uptake. Cu, Mo and Fe were related with traffic flows. Long-range transport contributed to Cd, Cu and Mo accumulation in moss at higher heights. As in 1999, the airborne element load was higher in coastal sites, more affected by marine aerosols and traffic. In all sites, contents of Cd, Fe, Pb, Ni and V in moss were remarkably lower than in 1999, indicating a positive effect of actions set up in recent years to reduce the traffic and to improve the city air quality. - Highlights: → The devitalised Hypnum cupressiforme moss is applied as new biomaterial for monitoring air quality in Naples urban area. → The vertical gradient of element concentrations in a pilot site is assessed. → Results of this survey are compared with those from a 1999 monitoring survey. - Devitalised transplants of Hypnum cupressiforme highlight current traffic impact and improvement of air quality in the urban area of Naples city.
[en] The results of trace element content analysed in Sphagnum capillifolium and Pseudevernia furfuracea exposed in bags in 1999 are reconsidered to evaluate the reliability of moss and lichen transplants to detect urban trace element atmospheric pollution, using Naples as a case example. After 4 months' exposure, trace element concentrations were at least twice as high as the pre-exposure values and in general higher in Sphagnum than in Pseudevernia. Moss samples were enriched in the following order: As = Cu > Mo > Pb > V > Co > Cr > Zn; lichen samples in the order: Mo > Cu > As = Co = Ni > V > Pb. Based on the calculation of a cumulative load factor, all sites located along the coast had higher trace element loads compared to sites in the hilly inland area. Complementary SEM, TEM and EDS observations showed, despite significant damage to tissue and cell integrity, the recurrent presence of particulate matter in moss and lichen, indicating the considerable presence of dust in the urban atmosphere which, according to chemical composition, may be due both to anthropogenic and natural sources such as volcanic rock and soil and sea salts. - Despite significant damage to tissue and cell integrity, moss and lichen in bags efficiently intercept airborne trace elements
[en] It has been widely shown that nuclear fallout includes substances, which accumulate in organisms such as crustaceans, fish, mushrooms and lichens, helping to evaluate the activity concentration of contaminants accumulated on a long time. In this context, radiocaesium deposited in soil following the Chernobyl accident on 26 April 1986 is known to have remained persistently available for plant uptake in many areas of Europe. Studies on the lichen Stereocaulon vesuvianum show the plant's high capacity to retain radionuclides from the substrate and the air. After the Chernobyl accident, starting from September 1986, at the Radioactivity Laboratory (LaRa) of the University of Naples Federico II, four monitoring campaigns to evaluate the activity concentration of four isotopes of the two elements caesium and ruthenium (134Cs, 137Cs, 103Ru and 106Ru) were carried out until 1999. This study allowed the effective half-life of 134Cs and 137Cs to be estimated. Twenty-eight years after the accident, in December 2014, a further sampling was carried out; only 137Cs was revealed beyond the detection limits, measuring activity concentrations ranging from 20 to 40 Bq/kg, while the other radionuclides were no longer observed due to their shorter half-life. The last sampling allowed more precise determination of the effective half-life of 137Cs (6.2 ± 0.1 year), due to the larger dataset on a large time period. - Highlights: • Lichens have the capacity to retain high concentrations of radionuclides and metals. • A new survey was performed to monitor the activity concentration of caesium until to thirty years after Chernobyl disaster. • The effective half-time was measured which is in agreement with previous surveys.
[en] To define a harmonized methodology for the use of moss and lichen bags as active monitoring devices of airborne trace elements in urban areas, we evaluated the element accumulation in bags exposed in Naples in different spring weather conditions for 6- and 12-weeks. Three different pre-exposure treatments were applied to moss and lichen materials: water-washing, acid-washing and oven-drying. During the different exposure periods in the Naples urban environment the moss accumulated always higher amounts of elements (except Hg) than lichens and the element accumulation increased during wetter weather and higher PM10 conditions. The oven pre-treatment did not substantially modify the morphology and element composition of moss and the exposure in bags of this material for 6-weeks was sufficient to detect the pattern of airborne trace elements. - A 6-week exposure with oven-dried moss bags resulted a suitable approach to evaluate airborne trace elements in a Mediterranean urban environment.
[en] Volcanic soils affected by different numbers of polluted river flooding events were investigated. Chromium and Cu were the major soil contaminants. Nickel, Fe, Zn and Mn total content never exceeded the Italian mandatory limits. The distribution of Cr and Cu total contents among studied soils indicated that only Cr contamination was related to overflowing events. In polluted soils, sequential chemical extractions revealed a preferential association of Cr and Cu with organic forms. A progressive Cr insolubilization with ageing was observed. Significant amounts of Cr and Cu were extracted by NH4-oxalate, suggesting metals association with short-range-order aluminosilicates and organo-mineral complexes. Possible methodological drawbacks in the use of the EU-BCR chemical speciation protocol on volcanic soils are discussed. Micromorphology and SEM/WDS analyses revealed Cr and Cu enriched silt and clay coatings in surface and subsurface soil horizons, suggesting a transfer of metal-rich sediments along the soil pore network with water movement. - River overflowing adds up soil with Cr-rich sediments which, although chemically low reactive, transfer metal along the soil pore network during water movement
[en] To enhance the reliability of the moss and lichen transplant technique for active biomonitoring of trace metals in urban environments, we evaluated the natural variability in the chemical composition of the (epilithic and epiphytic) moss Hypnum cupressiforme and the epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea from two reference areas in NE Italy. Green shoots of epilithic mosses and lobes of epiphytic lichens from larch branches showed rather homogenous composition and were selected for the exposure in nylon bags. As different physico-chemical pre-treatments are usually applied to selected cryptogamic material before its exposure, we also evaluated the effects of oven-drying at 120 deg. C for 24 h, washing in 1 N HNO3 solution, and in 0.5% NH4 oxalate solution at 85 deg. C for 15 h on the chemical composition and morphology of water-washed moss shoots and lichen lobes. Pre-treatments remarkably changed the chemical composition of selected materials but not their surface morphology. - Water-washed and oven-dried moss shoots and lichen lobes have adequate chemical and morphological homogeneity to be used as active biomonitors of trace element atmospheric deposition