Uranium, thorium and rare earth elements in macrofungi: what are the genuine concentrations?
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Concentrations of uranium, thorium and rare earth elements (REE) in 36 species of ectomycorrhizal (26 samples) and saprobic (25 samples) macrofungi from unpolluted sites with differing bedrock geochemistry were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Analytical results are supported by use of certified reference materials (BCR-670, BCR-667, NIST-1575a) and the reliability of the determination of uranium was verified by epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA). It appears that data recently published on these elements are erroneous, in part because of use of an inappropriate analytical method; and in part because of apparent contamination by soil particles resulting in elevated levels of thorium and REE. Macrofungi from unpolluted areas, in general, did not accumulate high levels of the investigated metals. Concentrations of uranium and thorium were generally below 30 and 125 μg kg−1 (dry weight), respectively. Concentrations of REE in macrofungi did not exceed 360 μg kg−1 (dry weight) and their distribution more or less followed the trend observed in post-Archean shales and loess.
KeywordsICP-MS ENAA REE Fungi Bioaccumulation Metals
We are very grateful to Tjakko Stijve and Emil Jelínek for helpful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by the projects GAUK no. 3010 (The Grant Agency of Charles University) and the project IAA600480801 (The Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic). Institutional support was provided by Institutional Research Plans (IRP) AV0Z30130516 (Institute of Geology, ASCR, Prague) and IRP AV0Z10480505 (Nuclear Physics Institute, ASCR, Řež near Prague).
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