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Biogeochemistry of Plane Trees as a Tool to Detect Atmospheric Pollution

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DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2013.49121    2,906 Downloads   4,527 Views  

ABSTRACT

The plane tree, which is a valuable tool to detect atmospheric pollution, is one of the most common trees in European cities. Soil and leaf samplings were carried out in Barcelona and its environs (NE Spain) to establish the soil-plant relationship. Dry and ashed leaves and soils were analyzed by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis and Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP/OES) at the ACTLABS laboratories in Ontario, Canada. Given that diesel is the main fuel used in vehicles in Europe, we sought to establish the role of diesel in atmospheric pollution. Diesel samples were obtained from service stations and analyzed after preconcentration using ICP/MS at the geochemistry laboratories of the University of Barcelona. The average content of diesel oil shows high values of Pb, Cu, Cr, Ag, Cd and Mn. High values of Pb, Cu, Au, Hg and Sb in leaves and soils were detected downtown and along main roads outside the city, whereas low levels of these elements were observed in rural areas.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Viladevall, D. Puigserver, J. Carmona, A. Cortés and A. Navarro, "Biogeochemistry of Plane Trees as a Tool to Detect Atmospheric Pollution," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 9, 2013, pp. 1267-1274. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.49121.

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