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.
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The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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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.
National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 30070155) and Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu High Education Institutions (PAPD).
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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
- Atmospheric deposition
- Heavy metals
- Source apportionment
- Isotope composition
- Positive matrix factorization (PMF)