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Lead Levels in the Bones of Small Rodents from Alpine and Subalpine Habitats in the Tian-Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan

Institute of High Mountain Biology, University of Žilina, Tatranská Javorina 7, 05956 Žilina, Slovakia
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Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9020035
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Metal Pollution)
High mountain areas are an appropriate indicator of anthropogenic lead (Pb), which can reach remote mountain ranges through long distance atmospheric transport. We compared the content of Pb in ecologically equivalent rodent species from Tian-Shan with European mountain ranges including the Tatra, Vitosha and Rila mountains. We used bone tissues from terminal tail vertebrae of small rodents for detection of Pb levels through electro-thermal atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The tailbones of Tian-Shan rodents had significantly lower Pb levels than snow voles from the Tatra Mountains, but there was no significant difference in comparison with the Vitosha and Rila mountains. We can conclude that Tian-Shan shows lower pollution by Pb than the Tatras, which may be a result of prolonged industrialization of north-western Europe and strongly prevailing west winds in this region. View Full-Text
Keywords: lead pollution; alpine environments; Alticola argentatus; Microtus gregalis; atmospheric deposition; heavy metals lead pollution; alpine environments; Alticola argentatus; Microtus gregalis; atmospheric deposition; heavy metals
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Ballová, Z.; Janiga, M. Lead Levels in the Bones of Small Rodents from Alpine and Subalpine Habitats in the Tian-Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 35.

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