Investigations of the Atmospheric Deposition of Major and Trace Elements in Western Tajikistan by Using the Hylocomium splendens Moss as Bioindicators

  • Daler Abdusamadzoda
  • Djamshed A. Abdushukurov
  • Octavian G. DuliuEmail author
  • Inga Zinicovscaia
  • Nikita S. Yushin
  • Marina V. Frontasyeva


The study was performed in a mountainous area of approximately 7000 sq. km of Western Tajikistan, i.e., Turkestan, Zeravshan, Hissar, and Karateghin ridges that are characterized by complex geological settings. Moss biomonitoring was used to assess the concentration level of trace and major elements in atmospheric deposition of the study area. Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) Schimp. moss was used as biomonitor in this study. 43 major and trace-elements were determined by Epithermal Neutron Activation (ENAA) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS). GIS maps of the 43 elements showed that the distribution of Mo, Cd, REE, Th, and U could be most probably associated with the Odjuk pegmatite field. Zr, Hf, and W contents are significantly increased in the vicinity of the Sarbo River washout while Cr, Co, Ni, and As showed a maximum content near Kanchoch gold field. The global pollution index based on the local content of presumed pollutants Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Sb, and Pb in some places exceeded the threshold limits for a pristine, unpolluted environment. At the same time, the distribution of incompatible Sc, La, Yb, and Th suggested for the airborne material deposited on mosses a continental component, enriched in few places in felsic components.



The research was performed within framework the Cooperation Agreement between Institute of Water Problems, Hydropower and Ecology of Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan and the Sector of Neutron Activation Analysis and Applied Research of Frank Laboratory for Neutron Physics of Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR) Dubna, Russian Federation. OGD wishes to acknowledge his contribution was done within the Cooperation Protocol no. 4322-4-1017/2019 between the University of Bucharest and the JINR.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

244_2019_687_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1846 kb)


  1. Allajbeu Sh, Yushin NS, Qarri F et al (2016) Atmospheric deposition of rare earth elements in Albania studied by the moss biomonitoring technique, neutron activation analysis and GIS technology. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:14087–14101. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakhtdavlatov R (2017) Tajikistan minerals (in Russian). Accessed 6 Oct 2019
  3. Barandovski L, Cekova M, Frontasyeva M et al (2008) Atmospheric deposition of trace element pollutants in Macedonia studied by the moss biomonitoring technique. Environ Monit Assess 138:107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berg T, Røyset O, Steinnes E et al (1995) Atmospheric trace element deposition: principal component analysis of ICP-MS data from moss samples. Environ Pollut 88:67–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. CAG (2019) Central Asia Geoportal of Tajikistan -Tajikistan Geology Accessed 2 Oct 2019
  6. Culicov OA, Yurukova Y, Duliu OG et al (2016) Elemental content of mosses and lichens from Livingston Island (Antarctica) as determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 24:5717–5732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dolegowska S, Migaszewski ZM, Michalik A (2013) Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) B.S.G. and Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt. as trace element bioindicators: statistical comparison of bioaccumulative properties. J Environ Sci 25:340–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fernández JA, Rey A, Carballeira A (2000) An extended study of heavy metal deposition in Galicia (NW Spain) based on moss analysis. Sci Total Environ 254:31–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frontasyeva MV (2011) Neutron activation analysis in the life sciences. Phys Part Nucl 42:32–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Frontasyeva M, Harmens H, Uzhinskiy A and the participants of the moss survey (2019) Mosses as biomonitors of air pollution: 2015/2016 survey on heavy metals, nitrogen and POPs in Europe and beyond. UNECE ICP Vegetation. JINR Publishing Department, Dubna, R. ISBN 978-5-9530-0508-1. 2019, pp 80Google Scholar
  11. Frontasyeva MV, Pavlov SS (2005) Analytical investigations at the IBR-2 reactor in Dubna. Neutron News 16:24–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gilbert OL (1968) Bryophytes as indicators of air pollution in the Tyne valley. New Phytol 67:15–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harmens H (2018) ICP Vegetation: progress 2018 activities and further developments, 4th WGE-EMEP meeting, 10–14 Sept 2018, Geneva. Accessed 25 Jan 2019
  14. Harmens H, Norris DA, Koerber GR et al (2007) Temporal trends in the concentration of arsenic, chromium, copper, iron, nickel, vanadium and zinc in mosses across Europe between 1990 and 2000. Atm Environ 41:6673–6687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harmens H, Norris D, Steinnes E et al (2010) Mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric heavy metal deposition: Spatial patterns and temporal trends in Europe. Environ Pollut 158:3144–3156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harmens H, Norris DA, Sharps K et al (2015) Heavy metal and nitrogen concentrations in mosses are declining across Europe whilst some “hotspots” remain in 2010. Environ Pollut 200:93–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Herpin U, Siewers U, Kreimes K et al. (2001) Biomonitoring—evaluation and assessment of heavy metal concentrations from two German moss monitoring surveys in Biomonitoring: General and Applied Aspects on Regional and Global Scales. Burga CA, Kratochwil A (eds) Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp 73–95Google Scholar
  18. ICP: International Cooperative Programme (2019) Accessed 20 Jan 2019
  19. Kelly MG, Whitton BA (1989) Interspecific differences in Zn, Cd, and Pb accumulation by freshwater algae and bryophytes. Hydrobiologia 175:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Levikov VC (1980) On the nickel-cobalt mineral deposits of the Southern Hissar. Proc Tajik Acad Sci 8:449–451 (in Russian) Google Scholar
  21. Linnen RL, Van Lichtervelde M, Černý P (2012) Granitic pegmatites as sources of strategic metals. Elements 8:275–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marinova S, Yurukova L, Frontasyeva MV et al (2010) Air pollution studies in Bulgaria using the moss biomonitoring technique. Ecol Chem Eng S 17:37–52 Accessed 20 Jan 2019
  23. Markert B, Fränzle S, Wünschmann S (2015) Chemical evolution. The biological system of the elements. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  24. McLean RO, Jones AK (1975) Studies of tolerance to heavy metals in theflora of the rivers Ystwyth and Clarach, Wales. Freshw Biol 5:431–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Middleton NJ (1986) A geography of dust storms in South-West Asia. J Climat 6:183–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nickel S, Schröder W, Schmalfuss R et al (2018) Modelling spatial patterns of correlations between concentrations of heavy metals in mosses and atmospheric deposition in 2010 across Europe, Environ Sci Eur 30, 53. Accessed 18 Jan 2019
  27. Omarova NM, Neralieva DJ, Nurkasimova MU et al (2018) Environmental monitoring in the Republic of Kazakhstan on the content of heavy metals and radionuclides. Sustain Dev Sci Pract 1:20–29 (in Russian). Accessed 4 Jan 2019
  28. Pavlov SS, Dmitriev AY, Frontasyeva MV (2016) Automation system for neutron activation analysis at the reactor IBR-2, Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 309:27–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rudnick RL, Gao S (2003) Composition of the continental crust. In: Holland HD, Turekian KK (eds) Treatise on geochemistry, vol 3. Elsevier-Pergamon, Oxford, London, pp 1–64Google Scholar
  30. Spiric Z, Vucovic I, Stafilov T et al (2013) Air pollution study in Croatia using moss biomonitoring and ICP–AES and AAS analytical techniques. Arch Envir Contam Toxicol 65:33–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Steinnes E, Rambeak JP, Hanssen JE (1992) Large scale multi-elements survey of atmospheric deposition using naturally growing moss as biomonitor. Chemosphere 25:735–752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stihi C, Popescu IV, Fronrasyeva M et al (2017) Characterization of heavy metal air pollution in Romania using moss biomonitoring, neutron activation analysis, and atomic absorption spectrometry. Anal Let 50:2851–2858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tarzia M, De Vivol B, Somma R et al (2002) Anthropogenic vs. natural pollution: an environmental study of an industrial site under remediation (Naples, Italy). Geochem: Explor Environ, Anal 2:45–56Google Scholar
  34. Tomlinson DL, Wilson JG, Harris CR et al (1980) Problems in the assessment of heavy-metals in the estuaries and the formation of the pollution index. Helgoland Mar Res 33:566–575Google Scholar
  35. Vanderpoorten A (1999) Aquatic bryophytes for a spatio-temporal monitoring of the water pollution of the rivers Meuse and Sambre (Belgium). Environ Pollut 104:404–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wilkie D, La Farge C (2011) Bryophytes as heavy metal biomonitors in the Canadian High Arctic. Arct Antarc Alp Res 43:289–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. World Bank Group (2018) Global economic prospects: the turning of the tide, World Bank Publications, Washington. Accessed 30 May 2019
  38. Zinicovscaia I, Pavlov SS, Frontasyeva MV et al (2018) Accumulation of silver nanoparticles in mice tissues studied by neutron activation analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 318:985–989CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Water Problem, Hydropower and Ecology of Academy of ScienceDushanbeTajikistan
  2. 2.Frank Laboratory for Neutron PhysicsJoint Institute for Nuclear ResearchDubnaRussian Federation
  3. 3.Department of Structure of Matter, Earth and Atmospheric Physics and Astrophysics, Faculty of PhysicsUniversity of BucharestMagureleRomania
  4. 4.Horia Hulubei R & D Institute for Physics and Nuclear EngineeringMagureleRomania

Personalised recommendations