Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 9785–9795 | Cite as

Influence of the residence time of street trees and their soils on trace element contamination in Paris (France)

  • Katell QuénéaEmail author
  • Iry Andrianjara
  • Aleksandar Rankovic
  • Erika Gan
  • Emmanuel Aubry
  • Jean-Christophe Lata
  • Sébastien Barot
  • Maryse Castrec-Rouelle
Research Article


With the actual increasing interest for urban soils, the evaluation of soil contamination by trace elements and the dynamics of this contamination appear mandatory to preserve plant and thereby human health. Street trees and the associated soil placed in pits located nearby roads could represent convenient indicators of urban and vehicle traffic influences on soils and plants. However, data on these soils remain scarce, many studies investigating park soils rather than street tree soils. Furthermore, trace elements could be one of the main factors causing the observed urban tree decline, while practitioners more and more question the possible reuse of these soils after the death of trees as well as tree litter collected in the streets. We evaluated the contamination in anthropogenic trace elements (TE), namely Zn, Pb, and Cd, of street trees (Tilia tomentosa) and their soils distributed all over Paris (France). Street tree soils are imported from rural areas at the plantation of each new tree so that tree age corresponds to the time of residence of the soil within an urban environment allowing the evaluation of temporal trends on TE concentration in soils and trees. The TE concentration revealed an important soil pollution, especially for the older soils (mean age of 80 years old). The consideration of the residence time of trees and soils in an urban environment evidenced an accumulation of Zn and Pb (ca. 4.5 mg kg−1 year−1 and 4 mg kg−1 year−1 for Zn and Pb, respectively). However, leaf concentrations in TE were low and indicate that soil-root transfer was not significant compared to the contamination by atmospheric deposition. These results underlined the necessity to deepen the evaluation of the recycling of urban soils or plants submitted to urban contamination.


Urban soils Road traffic impact Bioaccumulation Trace element Leaves Roots 



We would like to acknowledge Yannick Agnan for comments on an early version of the manuscript.

Funding information

Sampling campaigns benefited from funding from the Île-de-France region (R2DS), the GIS “Climate, Environment, Society” (CCTV2 Project), the PIR IngEcoTech (IESUM project), and the Sorbonne Universities (Dens’ project, Convergences program).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katell Quénéa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Iry Andrianjara
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Aleksandar Rankovic
    • 2
    • 4
  • Erika Gan
    • 3
  • Emmanuel Aubry
    • 1
  • Jean-Christophe Lata
    • 2
    • 5
  • Sébastien Barot
    • 2
  • Maryse Castrec-Rouelle
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS, EPHE, UMR Environment, Transfers and Interactions in Soils and Water Bodies (METIS), UMR 7619Sorbonne UniversitéParisFrance
  2. 2.IRD, CNRS, INRA, Univ Paris Diderot Paris 07, UPEC, UMR 7618, Institute of Ecology and Environmental SciencesSorbonne Université, IRD, CNRS, INRA, Univ Paris Diderot Paris 07, UPEC, UMR 7618, Institute of Ecology and Environmental SciencesParisFrance
  3. 3.Laboratory of Agronomy of the Paris City, Paris Green Space and Environmental Division (DEVE), Parc Floral - Pavillon 5 - Rond Point de la PyramideParisFrance
  4. 4.IDDRI, Institute for Sustainable Development and International RelationsParisFrance
  5. 5.Department of Geoecology and Geochemistry, Institute of Natural ResourcesInstitute of Natural Resources, Tomsk Polytechnic UniversityTomskRussia

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