Assessment of the possibility of using deciduous tree bark as a biomonitor of heavy metal pollution of atmospheric aerosol

  • Małgorzata RajfurEmail author
Research Article


The aim of the research was to assess the possibility to use deciduous tree bark in the biomonitoring of urban areas. The tree bark taken from various deciduous tree species growing in the Opole Province (south-western Poland) was used for the research. The bark was collected from tree trunks in the period of June 2–26, 2017. Concentrations of the heavy metals were determined in the barks by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). On the basis of the research, it was determined that type of tree, distance from pollution source, elevation off the ground and the side of trunk from which bark was sampled all influence the research results. A comparison of the values of coefficient of variation CV demonstrated that the bark Quercus robur and Betula pendula is more heterogeneous, e.g. for Fe CVQuercus robur is 48.0 % and CVBetula pendula = 42.3 %, compared to Fagus sylvatica (CVFe = 22.6%). In order to limit the influence of environmental factors (e.g. air movement caused by vehicles and pedestrians) on the samples pollution level with analytes, it seems that the optimum level for collecting the samples is 1.5–2.0 m. It was demonstrated that deciduous tree bark can be used as bioindicator in assessing the pollution of atmospheric aerosol by heavy metals, due to its occurrence in urban areas. However, it is important to validate all stages of the analysis procedure that uses deciduous tree bark.


Biomonitoring Bark Deciduous trees Trace element Atomic absorption spectrometry Opole Province Poland 



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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BiotechnologyUniversity of OpoleOpolePoland

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