Science Inventory

METAL CONTENT OF DANDELION (TARAXACUM OFFICINALE) LEAVES IN RELATION TO SOIL CONTAMINATION AND AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER. (R826602)

Citation:

Keane, B., M. H. Collier, J. R. Shann, AND S. H. Rogstad. METAL CONTENT OF DANDELION (TARAXACUM OFFICINALE) LEAVES IN RELATION TO SOIL CONTAMINATION AND AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER. (R826602). AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 281(1-3):63-78, (2001).

Description:

The global distribution of the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber, sensu lato; Asteraceae), along with its ability to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, make this `species' a particularly attractive candidate to evaluate for its value as a biological monitor of environmental metal contamination. To examine the metal content of dandelion leaves in relation to environmental metal levels, the concentrations of eight metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were analyzed in leaf and soil samples collected at 29 sites in the mid-western United States differentially impacted by pollution. Sites were chosen primarily to cover a range of annual mean 24-h airborne particulate matter less-than or equal to10 small mu, Greekm (hereafter, PM10) exposure, with PM10 levels varying from those found in isolated rural areas to levels typical of the most industrialized urban locations in the mid-western United States. A positive, significant correlation was detected between soil concentrations of each metal and measures of PM10 at a site, signifying that airborne particulate matter is a good indicator of soil metal contamination. Leaf concentrations of four of the eight metals (Cr, Mn, Pb and Zn) examined were found to increase significantly as the soil levels of these metals increased, but the percentage of the total variation explained by the relationship in these cases was generally low. This latter finding, along with the lack of a significant relationship between leaf and soil concentrations for the four other metals, indicate that the factors affecting metal absorption from the soil by dandelions are complex and that, aside from soil metal concentrations, other soil, plant and/or other environmental factors affect metal uptake. There was also no evidence that leaf metal concentrations were positively correlated with PM10. In addition, the concentrations of some metals (Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn) were significantly higher in leaves collected in the fall compared to those collected at the same sites in the spring. These findings suggest that dandelions may not be a particularly effective tool for quantifying levels of environmental metal contamination, at least on the scale of pollution typifying industrialized urban areas of the mid-western United States.

Author Keywords: Biomonitoring; Metal pollution; PM10; Soil contamination

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 01/01/2001
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record ID: 76321

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH