1 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Environment, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Environment, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Accumulation dynamics and cellular locations of lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and cadmium (Cd) were studied in Flavocetraria nivalis lichens near the former Black Angel Pb-Zn Mine in West Greenland. Natural resident thalli were collected from four dust-contaminated sites near the mine. In addition, thalli were taken from an uncontaminated reference site and transplanted to the contaminated sites followed by a collection 1 year after. Total thalli metal contents were determined, and thalli were subjected to a sequential extraction procedure. After 1 year of transplantation, total Pb thalli contents were significantly elevated compared with initial concentrations at all sites (for Zn and Cd contents only at the two sites closest to the mine). However, transplanted thalli contained significantly less Pb (26 ± 12%), Zn (64 ± 13%) and Cd (34 ± 7 %) compared with resident thalli from these sites. Results from the sequential extraction procedure showed marked differences among Pb, Zn and Cd in the extracellular, intracellular and residual fraction. The lower total metal concentrations in transplanted compared with resident thalli at the contaminated sites were mostly due to a larger metal content bound in the residual fraction in resident thalli. In contrast, the metal content bound in the extracellular fraction were not significantly different in transplanted and resident thalli. The results indicate that extracellular-bound Pb, Zn and Cd in F. nivalis can be used as a proxy for recent (annual) atmospheric metal deposition whereas the large residual metal fraction in resident lichens indicate an accumulation of metal-containing particles in the thalli over time that includes several years of uptake.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2013, Vol 185, Issue 12, p. 10167-10176