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Open AccessArticle

Morphological Traits Influence the Uptake Ability of Priority Pollutant Elements by Hypnum cupressiforme and Robinia pseudoacacia Leaves

1
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Cintia 4, 80126 Napoli, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici (NA), Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020148
Received: 12 December 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2020 / Accepted: 27 January 2020 / Published: 29 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomonitoring of Air Pollution)
In this paper, a biomonitoring survey of airborne priority pollutant elements was carried out using leaves of native black locust and moss bags filled with Hypnum cupressiforme. The aims of the work were (i) to evaluate if mosses and leaves provide similar information regarding the accumulation of the elements of environmental concern (As, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, V, Zn, Tl); (ii) to evaluate if leaf traits are significantly involved in the uptake mechanisms. Hypnum transplants showed elemental contents generally higher than R. pseudoacacia leaves, despite the shorter exposure time. Moss accumulated larger amounts of elements linked to PM and the resuspension of soil dust. Based on the calculation of deposition flux for each element, R. pseudoacacia showed lower values for most elements—except Cr, Mo and Zn—indicating that uptake takes place both by deposition on the leaf surface and absorption via the root. Leaf traits (micromorphology of surface) play an important role in the interception and retention of PM-linked elements. Hypnum transplanted in bags was confirmed to be a powerful bio-accumulator of airborne elements; by contrast, R. pseudoacacia, with a smooth surface and scarce trichomes, showed a limited ability in airborne element retention. Therefore, widely diffused species, well-adapted to anthropized environments, such as black locust, not always can be considered as good biomonitors. The results are discussed in comparison to other vascular plant species used in biomonitoring studies.
Keywords: leaf traits; deposition flux; moss bags; airborne trace elements leaf traits; deposition flux; moss bags; airborne trace elements
MDPI and ACS Style

Capozzi, F.; Di Palma, A.; Sorrentino, M.C.; Adamo, P.; Giordano, S.; Spagnuolo, V. Morphological Traits Influence the Uptake Ability of Priority Pollutant Elements by Hypnum cupressiforme and Robinia pseudoacacia Leaves. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 148.

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