Jun 13, 2013

Assessing the tolerance of the terrestrial moss Pseudoscleropodium purum to high levels of atmospheric heavy metals: a reciprocal transplant study

The Science of the Total Environment
M Teresa BoqueteJesús R Aboal


We measured the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn in samples of the terrestrial moss Pseudoscleropodium purum reciprocally transplanted between an unpolluted and two polluted sampling sites. At the beginning of the experiment, the concentrations of all these elements differed significantly between mosses from the unpolluted site and mosses from the polluted sites. In general, the concentrations of the heavy metals in mosses from both polluted sites transplanted to the unpolluted site decreased until they reached the same levels as in autotransplants at this site (after 480-840 days). However, the concentrations of all heavy metals in mosses transplanted from the unpolluted site to both polluted sites increased to higher levels than in the autotransplants (except for Cu, Hg and Pb at one of the sampling sites). These results led us to conclude that mosses that have been continuously exposed to high atmospheric deposition of heavy metals undergo an adaptive response (probably genotypic) to such conditions. We therefore recommend active rather than passive biomonitoring of air quality in industrial environments because atmospheric deposition could be underestimated, and also recommend further investigation into the mechanism...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Pleurozium schreberi
Hylocomium splendens
Protein Methylation
Air Pollutants, Environmental
Pseudoscleropodium purum

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