Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 133, Issue 1–3, pp 69–78 | Cite as

Biomonitoring of Environmental Pollution Using Dielectric Properties of Tree Leaves

  • V. Saltas
  • D. Triantis
  • T. Manios
  • F. Vallianatos


In the present work, dielectric measurements were performed in plane-tree leaves collected from a polluted urban site and a natural unpolluted one, in order to investigate the sensitivity of dielectric relaxation spectroscopy to the detection of heavy metals pollution. Although heavy metal concentrations at the urban site are not found considerable higher than those at the natural site, the two samples exhibit different features in the recorded dielectric spectra. Evaluation of experimental data suggests that the dielectric modulus (M*(ω)) representation is the most suitable for accenting the different dielectric relaxation processes of each sample. The imaginary part of dielectric modulus M″(ω) was fitted using a three-term Havriliak–Negami relaxation function, with fitting parameters, which depend on the concentrations of heavy metals. The lower frequency relaxation process is attributed to the ionic conductivity of the samples, while the two others are due to different charge transport mechanisms of α-response. The investigation of plane-tree leaves in terms of their dielectric properties can be considered as a promising biomonitoring for environmental pollution.


Biomonitoring Dielectric spectroscopy Heavy metals Leaves Pollution 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Saltas
    • 1
  • D. Triantis
    • 2
  • T. Manios
    • 3
  • F. Vallianatos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and EnvironmentTechnological Educational Institute of CreteChania, CreteGreece
  2. 2.Materials Research Laboratory, Department of ElectronicsTechnological Educational Institute of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.School of Agricultural TechnologyTechnological Educational Institute of CreteChania, CreteGreece

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