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Sensors 2008, 8(4), 2413-2423; doi:10.3390/s8042413

Heavy Metal Concentrations in Soils and Factors Affecting Metal Uptake by Plants in the Vicinity of a Korean Cu-W Mine

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Sejong University, Seoul, 143-747, Korea
Received: 11 March 2008 / Accepted: 1 April 2008 / Published: 4 April 2008
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Heavy metal concentrations were measured in soils and plants in and around a copper-tungsten mine in southeast Korea to investigate the influence of past base metal mining on the surface environment. The results of chemical analysis indicate that the heavy metals in soils decreased with distance from the source, controlled mainly by water movement and topography. The metal concentrations measured in plant species generally decreased in the order; spring onions > soybean leaves > perilla leaves » red pepper > corn grains » jujube grains, although this pattern varied moderately between different elements. The results agree with other reports that metal concentrations in leaves are usually much higher than those in grain. Factors influencing the bioavailability of metals and their occurrences in crops were found as soil pH, cation exchange capacity, organic matter content, soil texture, and interaction among the target elements. It is concluded that total metal concentrations in soils are the main controls on their contents in plants. Soil pH was also an important factor. A stepwise linear multiple regression analysis was also conducted to identify the dominant factors influencing metal uptake by plants. Metal concentrations in plants were also estimated by computer-aided statistical methods.
Keywords: Heavy metal; mining activities; metal uptake; soil pollution Heavy metal; mining activities; metal uptake; soil pollution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Jung, M.C. Heavy Metal Concentrations in Soils and Factors Affecting Metal Uptake by Plants in the Vicinity of a Korean Cu-W Mine. Sensors 2008, 8, 2413-2423.

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