Mosses as indicators of heavy metal and radionuclide contamination in potentially polluted areas
The use of terrestrial and aquatic mosses as indicators of radionuclide and heavy metal contamination is discussed. The radionuclide content in Hypnum cupressiforme collected in 23 stations in the vicinity of a coal fired power plant located in La Spezia (Northern Italy), was analysed in order to discriminate the possible influence of the plant on the natural radioactivity levels in the area. The distribution pattern of natural and fallout radionuclides shows that the fifteen year activity of the plant has not produced any significant contamination in the area. The aquatic moss Fontinalis antipyretica was used as an indicator of water quality in freshwater environments of an industrialised area in Northern Italy (Lago Maggiore, Laga d'Orta and rivers Toce and Lambro). After a pulse input the uptake of Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn and Hg is very fast. The equilibrium concentration is reached in 9-14 days, while the depuration phase lasts 2-3 months. The results obtained show that this type of monitoring allows the identification of continuous and discontinuous sources of pollutants and that the methodology proposed can be extensively used for surveillance of contaminated areas.
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Fifth SETAC-Europe Congress 1995, Copenhagen (DK), June 25-28, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38987 ORA
Record Number: 199510720 / Last updated on: 1995-07-07
Original language: en
Available languages: en