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Living organisms, especially vegetables, can be used to monitor environmental pollutants either as bio-indicators or bio-accumulators. This project, using aquatic mosses of the species Fontinalis antipyretica, allowed an accurate diagnosis of water quality in lakes and rivers; at the same time mosses accumulated great amounts of heavy metals. The results showed that Fontinalis antipyretica had the ability to accumulate great amounts of trace elements in a short time (few days and/or few weeks), whereas the release occurred in medium time (few months). Aquatic mosses, in a period of 28 days, accumulated a total mass, for all considered elements, of 4 g kg -1 (dry weight).

Additional information

Authors: CENCI R M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Environment Institute, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Bolletino della Societa Italiana della Sienza del Suolo, 50 (3) (2001), 633-639
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