Source and spatial distribution of airborne heavy metal deposition studied using mosses as biomonitors in Yancheng, China

Abstract

Naturally growing mosses have been successfully used as biomonitors of atmospheric heavy metal (HM) deposition. In recent years, with rapid economic development, environmental pollution in Yancheng, a coastal city in central Jiangsu Province, China, has become increasingly serious. However, to date, there have been no reports on atmospheric HM deposition in Yancheng. In this study, we investigated the HM concentrations and Pb isotopes in the moss Haplocladium microphyllum (Hedw.) Broth. from Yancheng and analyzed their main sources. The concentrations of HM in mosses from Yancheng were higher than those recorded in other studies of mosses from HM smelting regions and pollution-free areas of Eurasia and Alaska. The contamination factor value suggested that the pollution level of Cd was the highest. The pollution load index indicated that the studied area was severely contaminated with Cd, Cr, Pb, Zn, V, Ni, and Cu. Positive matrix factorization was employed to identify the contamination sources of HM and apportion their source contributions in mosses. The contributions of the natural source, together with manufacturing and construction, metal processing and chemical industries, traffic emissions and fuel burning in industrial activities, and agricultural activities, accounted for 53%, 33%, 12%, and 2%, respectively. The Pb isotopic ratios in the mosses (1.125–1.164 for 206Pb/207Pb, 2.059–2.148 for 208Pb/206Pb) further proved that metal processing and traffic emissions were the main sources of Pb contamination. These results are useful for developing various effective measures to prevent and reduce atmospheric HM deposition in Yancheng.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

References

  1. Ávila-Pérez P, Ortiz-Oliverosb HB, Zarazúa-Ortegab G et al (2019) Determining of risk areas due to exposure to heavy metals in the Toluca Valley using epiphytic mosses as a biomonitor. J Environ Manage 241:138–148

  2. Abril GA, Wannaz ED, Mateos AC et al (2014) Characterization of atmospheric emission sources of heavy metals and trace elements through a local-scale monitoring network using T. capillaris. Ecol Indic 40:153–161

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Allajbeu S, Qarri F, Marku E et al (2017) Contamination scale of atmospheric deposition for assessing air quality in Albania evaluated from most toxic heavy metal and moss biomonitoring. Air Qual Atmos Health 10:587–599

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Allen-Gil SM, Ford J, Lasorsa BK et al (2003) Heavy metal contamination in the Taimyr peninsula. Siberian Arctic. Sci Total Environ 301:119–138

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Amodio M, Catino S, Dambruoso PR et al (2014) Atmospheric deposition: sampling procedures, analytical methods, and main recent findings from the scientific literature. Adv Meteorol:1–27

  6. Basile A, Sorbo S, Aprile G et al (2008) Comparison of the heavy metal bioaccumulation capacity of an epiphytic moss and an epiphytic lichen. Environ Pollut:401–407

  7. Basile A, Sorbo S, Aprile G et al (2009) Heavy metal deposition in the Italian tal depos of deathan tal depos with the moss Scorpiurum circinatum. Environ Pollut:2255–2260

  8. Basile A, Sorbo S, Pisani T et al (2012) Bioacumulation and ultrastructural effects of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in the moss Scorpiurum circinatum (Brid.) Fleisch. & Loeske. Environ Pollut:208–211

  9. Bi X, Feng X, Yang Y et al (2006) Environmental contamination of heavy metals from zinc smelting areas in Hezhang County, western Guizhou, China. Environ Int 32:883–890

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Bi X, Li Z, Wang S et al (2017) Lead isotopic compositions of selected coals, Pb/Zn ores and fuels in China and the application for source tracing. Environ Sci Technol:acs.est.7b04119

  11. Blumberg H (2006) Environmental assessment of small-scale vegetable farming systems in peri-urban areas of the Yangtze River Delta Region, China. Agr Ecosyst Environ 112:391–402

  12. Boamponsem LK, Adam JI, Dampare SB et al (2010) Assessment of atmospheric heavy metal deposition in the Tarkwa gold mining area of Ghana using epiphytic lichens. Nucl Inst Methods Phys Res B 268:1492–1501

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Bory AJM, Abouchami W, Galer SJG et al (2014) A Chinese imprint in insoluble pollutants recently deposited in central Greenland as indicated by lead isotopes. Environ Sci Technol 48:1451–1457

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Broady, P.A. Life on land. In: Exploring the Last Continent. Springer: Berlin, 2015, pp201-228.

  15. Cao T, An L, Wang M et al (2008) Spatial and temporal changes of heavy metal concentrations in mosses and its indication to the environments in the past 40 years in the city of Shanghai, China. Atmos Environ 42:5390–5402

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Carballeira A, Couto JA, Fernández JA (2001) Estimation of background levels of various elements in terrestrial mosses from Galicia (NW Spain). Water Air Soil Pollut 133:235

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Cheng H, Hu Y (2010) Lead (Pb) isotopic fingerprinting and its applications in lead pollution studies in China: a review. Environ Pollut 158:1134–1146

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Christensen ER, Steinnes E, Eggenc OA (2018) Anthropogenic and geogenic mass input of trace elements to moss and natural surface soil in Norway. Sci Total Environ 613-614:371–378

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Colabuono FI, Taniguchi S, Cipro CVZ et al (2015) Persistent organic pollutants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mosses after fire at the Brazilian Antarctic Station. Mar Pollut Bull 93:266–269

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Dasa R, Mohtara ATBM, Rakshitc D et al (2018) Sources of atmospheric lead (Pb) in and around an Indian megacity. Atmos Environ 193:57–65

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Dong YP, Liu XY, Sun XC et al (2017) Inter-species and intra-annual variations of moss nitrogen utilization: implications for nitrogen deposition assessment. Environ Pollut 230:506–515

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Fekiacova Z, Cornu S, Pichat S (2015) Tracing contamination sources in soils with Cu and Zn isotopic ratios. Sci Total Environ 517:96–105

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Fernández JA, Carballeira A (2001a) A comparison of indigenous mosses and topsoils for use in monitoring atmospheric heavy metal deposition in Galicia (northwest Spain). Environ Pollut 114:431–441

  24. Fernández JA, Carballeira A (2001b) Evaluation of contamination, by different elements, in terrestrial mosses. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 40:461–468

  25. Fernández JA, Ederra A, Núñez E et al (2002) Biomonitoring of metal deposition in northern Spain by moss analysis. Sci Total Environ 300:115–127

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Frontasyeva M, Harmens H (2015) Monitoring of Atmospheric Deposition of Heavy Metals, Nitrogen and Pops in Europe Using Bryophytes. Monitoring Manual, 2015 Survey

  27. Harmens H, Mills G, Hayes F et al (2015a) Twenty-eight years of ICP vegetation: an overview of its activities. Annali Di Botanica 5:31–43

    Google Scholar 

  28. Harmens H, Mills G, Hayes F et al. (2010) ICP Vegetation annual report 2010/2011. ICP Vegetation Programme Coordination Centre, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, UK

  29. 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. Atmos Environ 41:6673–6687

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Harmens H, Norris DA, Mills G et al (2013) Heavy metals and nitrogen in mosses: spatial patterns in 2010/2011 and long-term temporal trends in Europe. ICP Vegetation Programme Coordination Centre, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor 63 pp

    Google Scholar 

  31. Harmens H, Norris DA, Sharps K et al (2015b) Heavy metal and nitrogen concentrations in mosses are declining across Europe whilst some “hotspots” remain in 2010. Environ Pollut 200:93–104

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Hu R, Yan Y, Zhou XL et al (2018) Monitoring heavy metal contents with Sphagnum junghuhnianum moss bags in relation to traffic volume in Wuxi, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health 15(2):374

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. ICP Vegetation (2015) Heavy metals, nitrogen and POPs in European mosses: 2015 Survey. Monitoring Manual. UNECE ICP Vegetation Coordination Centre, CEH, Bangor

    Google Scholar 

  34. Jiang L, Jie L, Yuan X et al (2014) Copelletization of sewage sludge and biomass: the density and hardness of pellet. Bioresour Technol 166C:435–443

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. Kohli SK, Handa N, Bali S et al (2019) Current scenario of Pb toxicity in plants: unraveling plethora of physiological responses. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol 249:153–197

    Google Scholar 

  36. Komárek M, Ettler V, Chrastny V et al (2008) Lead isotopes in environmental sciences: a review. Environ Int 34:562–577

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  37. Koz B, Cevik U, Akbulut S (2012) Heavy metal analysis around Murgul (Artvin) copper mining area of Turkey using moss and soil. Ecol Indic 20:17–23

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Kumar S, Aggarwal SG, Malherbe J et al (2016) Tracing dust transport from Middle-East over Delhi in March 2012 using metal and lead isotope composition. Atmos Environ 132:179–187

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Lazo P, Stafilovb T, Qarric F et al (2019) Spatial distribution and temporal trend of airborne trace metal deposition in Albania studied by moss biomonitoring. Ecol Indic 101:1007–1017

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Li X, Feng L (2012) Multivariate and geostatistical analyses of metals in urban soil of Weinan industrial areas, Northwest of China. Atmos Environ 47:58–65

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  41. Liang J, Feng C, Zeng G et al (2017) Spatial distribution and source identification of heavy metals in surface soils in a typical coal mine city, Lianyuan, China. Environ Pollut 225:681–690

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Liang J, Liu J, Yuan X et al (2015a) Facile synthesis of alumina-decorated multi-walled carbon nanotubes for simultaneous adsorption of cadmium ion and trichloroethylene. Chem Eng J 273:101–110

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Liang J, Yu X, Zeng G et al (2014) A hydrologic index based method for determining ecologically acceptable water-level range of Dongting Lake. J Limnol 73(AoP)

  44. Liang J, Zeng GM, Shen S et al (2015b) Bayesian approach to quantify parameter uncertainty and impacts on predictive flow and mass transport in heterogeneous aquifer. Int J Environ Sci Technol 12:919–928

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Liu C, Zhou P, Fang Y (2016) Monitoring airborne heavy metal using mosses in the city of Xuzhou, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96:638–644

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Liu J, Bi X, Li F et al (2018) Source discrimination of atmospheric metal deposition by multi-metal isotopes in the Three Gorges Reservoir region, China. Environ Pollut 240:582–589

  47. Liu JG, Ma XM, Wang MX et al (2013) Genotypic differences among rice cultivars in lead accumulation and translocation and the relation with grain Pb levels. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 90:35–40

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Liu JL, Feng XB, Yin RS et al (2011) Mercury distributions and mercury isotope signatures in sediments of Dongjiang, the Pearl River Delta, China. Chem Geol 287:81–89

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Lou YX (2013) Study of response mechanism and bioindication of bryophytes to heavy metal pollution. Shanghai Normal University

  50. Maxhuni A, Lazo P, Kane S et al (2016) First survey of atmospheric heavy metal deposition in Kosovo using moss biomonitoring. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:744–755

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Maresca V, Sorbo S, Loppi S et al (2020) Biological effects from environmental pollution by toxic metals in the “land of fires” (Italy) assessed using the biomonitor species Lunularia cruciata L. (Dum). Environ Pollut:115000

  52. Migaszewski ZM, Gałuszka A, Crock JG et al (2009) Interspecies and interregional comparisons of the chemistry of PAHs and trace elements in mosses Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) BSG and Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt. from Poland and Alaska. Atmos Environ 43:1464–1473

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Mróz T, Szufa K, Frontasyeva MV et al (2017) Determination of element composition and extraterrestrial material occurrence in moss and lichen samples from King George Island (Antarctica) using reactor neutron activation analysis and SEM microscopy. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25:436–446

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  54. Paatero P, Tapper U (1994) Positive matrix factorization: a non-negative factor model with optimal utilization of error estimates of data values. Environmetrics 5:111–126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Pan LB, Ma J, Wang XL et al (2016) Heavy metals in soils from a typical county in Shanxi Province, China: levels, sources and spatial distribution. Chemosphere 148:248–254

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Qarri F, Lazo P, Stafilov T et al (2014) Multi-elements atmospheric deposition study in Albania. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21:2506–2518

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  57. R Development Core Team (2014) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria

  58. Renaudin M, Leblond S, Meyer C et al (2018) The coastal environment affects lead and sodium uptake by the moss Hypnum cupressiforme used as an air pollution biomonitor. Chemosphere 193:506–513

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Schnyder E, Štrokb M, Kosonena Z et al (2018) Lead concentrations and stable lead isotope ratios in moss in Slovenia and Switzerland. Ecol Indic 95:250–259

  60. Schröder W, Nickel S, Schönrock S et al (2016) Spatially valid data of atmospheric deposition of heavy metals and nitrogen derived by moss surveys for pollution risk assessments of ecosystems. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:10457–10476

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. Sen IS, Bizimis M, Tripathi SN et al (2016) Lead isotopic fingerprinting of aerosols to characterize the sources of atmospheric lead in an industrial city of India. Atmos Environ 129:27–33

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Shaban N, Abdou K, Hassan NEH (2016) Impact of toxic heavy metals and pesticide residues in herbal products. Beni-Suef Univ J Basic Appl Sci 5:102–106

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Shakya K, Chettri MK, Sawidis T (2014) Use of mosses for the survey of heavy metal deposition in ambient air of the Kathmandu valley applying active monitoring technique. Ecoprint 19:17–29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Shotyk W, Rausch N, Nieminen TM et al (2016) Isotopic composition of Pb in peat porewaters from three contrasting ombrotrophic bogs in Finland: evidence of chemical diagenesis in response to acidification. Environ Sci Technol 50:9943–9951

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Straif K, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Baan R et al (2009) A review of human carcinogens-part C: metals, arsenic, dusts, and fibres. Lancet Oncol 10:453–454

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Sun C, Liu J, Wang Y et al (2013) Multivariate and geostatistical analyses of the spatial distribution and sources of heavy metals in agricultural soil in Dehui, Northeast China. Chemosphere 92:517–523

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Sun JM, Zhu XK (2010) Temporal variations in Pb isotopes and trace element concentrations within Chinese eolian deposits during the past 8 Ma: implication for provenance change. Earth Planet Sci Lett 290:439–447

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  68. Tang F, Dai JL, Cheng XL (2016) Analysis of land use change in the process of urbanization in Yancheng. J Yancheng Instit Technol (Soc Sci Edn) 29:38–43 (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  69. Tian HZ, Zhu CY, Gao JJ et al (2015) Quantitative assessment of atmospheric emissions of toxic heavy metals from anthropogenic sources in China: historical trend, spatial variation distribution, uncertainties and control policies. Atmos Chem Phys 15:12107–12166

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  70. Tomlinson DL, Wilson JG, Harris CR et al (1980) Problems in the assessment of heavy-metal levels in estuaries and the formation of a pollution index. Helgol Mar Res 33:566–575

    Google Scholar 

  71. Tume P, Bech J, Reverter F et al (2011) Concentration and distribution of twelve metals in Central Catalonia surface soils. J Geochem Explor 109:92–103

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Turkyilmaz A, Sevik H, Cetin M (2018) The use of perennial needles as biomonitors for recently accumulated heavy metals. Landsc Ecol Eng 14:115–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Wang AX (2010) Mosses and trees as indicators for heavy metal pollution in the atmosphere of Nanjing City, China. PhD thesis, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China

  74. Wojtuń B, Samecka-Cymerman A, Kolon K et al (2013) Metals in some dominant vascular plants, mosses, lichens, algae, and the biological soil crust in various types of terrestrial tundra, SW Spitsbergen, Norway. Polar Biol 36:1799–1809

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Wu F, Hang Ho SS, Sun QL et al (2011) Provenance of Chinese loess: evidence from stable lead isotope. Terr Atmos Ocean Sci 22:305–314

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Wu S, Xia X, Lin C et al (2010) Levels of arsenic and heavy metals in the rural soils of Beijing and their changes over the last two decades (1985–2008). J Hazard Mater 179:860–868

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Yan Y, Zhang Q, Wang GG et al (2016) Atmospheric deposition of heavy metals in Wuxi, China: estimation based on native moss analysis. Environ Monit Assess 188:360

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  78. Yancheng Ecology and Environment Bureau, 2012–2017. Environmental Bulletin of Yancheng City. http://jsychb.yancheng.gov.cn/

  79. Yancheng Municipal Bureau of Statistics, 2017. Statistical Yearbook of Yancheng City. http://tjj.yancheng.gov.cn/SJFB/TJNJ/201710/yctj_nj_2017.rar.

  80. Yin RS, Feng XB, Chen JB (2014) Mercury stable isotopic compositions in coals from major coal producing fields in China and their geochemical and environmental implications. Environ Sci Technol 48:5565–5574

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Yuan Y, Zeng G, Liang J et al (2015) Variation of water level in Dongting Lake over a 50-year period: implications for the impacts of anthropogenic and climatic factors. J Hydrol 525:450–456

    Article  Google Scholar 

  82. Zeng X, Xi JX, Boezen MH et al (2016) Children with health impairment by heavy metals in an e-waste recycling area. Chemosphere 148:408–415

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Zhang C, Qiao Q, Piper JDA et al (2011) Assessment of heavy metal pollution from a Fe-smelting plant in urban river sediments using environmental magnetic and geochemical methods. Environ Pollut 159:3057–3070

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  84. Zhou XL, Chen Q, Liu C et al (2017) Using moss to assess airborne heavy metal pollution in Taizhou, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health 14:430

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  85. Zhu BQ, Chen YW, Peng JH (2001) Lead isotope geochemistry of the urban environment in the Pearl River Delta. Appl Geochem 16:409–417

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Zhu ZM, Sun GY, Bi XY et al (2013) Identification of trace metal pollution in urban dust from kindergartens using magnetic, geochemical and lead isotope analyses. Atmos Environ 77:9–15

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 30070155) and Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu High Education Institutions (PAPD). The authors thank International Science Editing (http://www.internationalscienceediting.com) and Professor Steven Paul Sylvester for editing this manuscript.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 30070155) and Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu High Education Institutions (PAPD).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

X.Z. conducted the experiment, performed statistical analysis of data, analyzed the results, and wrote the manuscript. R.H. prepared the figures and map. Y.F. guided the study elaboration process and corrected the wording. All the authors have reviewed and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yanming Fang.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Responsible Editor: Philippe Garrigues

Supplementary Information

ESM 1

(DOCX 69 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zhou, X., Hu, R. & Fang, Y. Source and spatial distribution of airborne heavy metal deposition studied using mosses as biomonitors in Yancheng, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12814-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Heavy metals
  • Source apportionment
  • Isotope composition
  • Positive matrix factorization (PMF)