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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of the Efficiency of Arundo donax L. Leaves as Biomonitors for Atmospheric Element Concentrations in an Urban and Industrial Area of Central Italy

1
Department of Bioscience and Territory, Università del Molise, 86090 Pesche (IS), Italy
2
Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystem research – Council of National research (IRET-CNR) Via G. Marconi 2, 05010 Porano (TR), Italy
3
Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030226
Received: 29 November 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2020 / Accepted: 22 February 2020 / Published: 26 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomonitoring of Air Pollution)
Washed and unwashed Arundo donax L. (A. donax) leaves were analyzed for elements, and results were compared with element concentrations detected in river water and particulate matter (PM) Samples were collected along a river in an urban and industrial hot spot of Central Italy, where element concentrations show relevant spatial gradients both in air and river water. The aim of this study is to identify the role of the two environmental matrices on leaves composition. Element concentrations of washed and unwashed leaves were compared to differentiate between the superficial deposition and the uptake into leaf tissues of elements. Water-soluble and -insoluble element concentrations were measured in PM10 samples collected on membrane filters by using innovative high spatial resolution samplers. The comparison among leaf and atmospheric concentrations of PM10 elements showed a similar trend for Ni, Mo, Cr, Ti, and Fe, which are reliable tracers of the PM10 contribution by steel plant and vehicular traffic. Soluble species appeared to be mainly bounded into leaf tissues, while insoluble species were deposited on their surface. On the other hand, element concentrations detected in washed A. donax leaves were poorly correlated with those measured in river water samples. The obtained results proved that A. donax leaves can be used as reliable biomonitors for the evaluation of the atmospheric concentrations of some PM10 elemental components. View Full-Text
Keywords: air quality; biomonitoring; particulate matter; leaf deposition; source tracer air quality; biomonitoring; particulate matter; leaf deposition; source tracer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ristorini, M.; Astolfi, M.L.; Frezzini, M.A.; Canepari, S.; Massimi, L. Evaluation of the Efficiency of Arundo donax L. Leaves as Biomonitors for Atmospheric Element Concentrations in an Urban and Industrial Area of Central Italy. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 226.

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