Heavy metal and nitrogen concentrations in mosses are declining across Europe whilst some “hotspots” remain in 2010

Harmens, H.; Norris, D.A.; Sharps, K. ORCID:; Mills, G.; Alber, R.; Aleksiayenak, Y.; Blum, O.; Cucu-Man, S.-M.; Dam, M.; De Temmerman, L.; Ene, A.; Fernández, J.A.; Martinez-Abaigar, J.; Frontasyeva, M.; Godzik, B.; Jeran, Z.; Lazo, P.; Leblond, S.; Liiv, S.; Magnússon, S.H.; Maňkovská, B.; Phil Karlsson, G.; Piispanen, J.; Poikolainen, J.; Santamaria, J.M.; Skudnik, M.; Spiric, Z.; Stafilov, T.; Steinnes, E.; Stihi, C.; Suchara, I.; Thöni, L.; Todoran, R.; Yurukova, L.; Zechmeister, H.G.. 2015 Heavy metal and nitrogen concentrations in mosses are declining across Europe whilst some “hotspots” remain in 2010. Environmental Pollution, 200. 93-104.

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In recent decades, naturally growing mosses have been used successfully as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition of heavy metals and nitrogen. Since 1990, the European moss survey has been repeated at five-yearly intervals. In 2010, the lowest concentrations of metals and nitrogen in mosses were generally found in northern Europe, whereas the highest concentrations were observed in (south-)eastern Europe for metals and the central belt for nitrogen. Averaged across Europe, since 1990, the median concentration in mosses has declined the most for lead (77%), followed by vanadium (55%), cadmium (51%), chromium (43%), zinc (34%), nickel (33%), iron (27%), arsenic (21%, since 1995), mercury (14%, since 1995) and copper (11%). Between 2005 and 2010, the decline ranged from 6% for copper to 36% for lead; for nitrogen the decline was 5%. Despite the Europe-wide decline, no changes or increases have been observed between 2005 and 2010 in some (regions of) countries.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Emmett
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: biomonitoring, EMEP maps, heavy metals, nitrogen, moss survey
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 20 Feb 2015 12:51 +0 (UTC)

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