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Urban/peri-urban aerosol survey by determination of the concentration and isotopic composition of Pb collected by transplanted lichen Hypogymnia physodes

  • Cloquet, C
  • De Muynck, David
  • Signoret, J
  • Vanhaecke, Frank
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
DOI: 10.1021/es801739p
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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In the northeastern part of France, around the city of Metz, lichens (Hypogymnia physodes) have been transplanted from a single reference site to five different sites: (i) the reference site itself, (ii and iii) two peri-urban sites, (iv) a site in the proximity of a highway, and (v) a final one close to an industrial site. The dynamics of two different system set-ups (one covered and one uncovered) were evaluated. Samples have been collected 14, 34, and 68 days after transplantation. Lead concentrations already accumulated in the thallus, and the corresponding Pb isotopic compositions have been measured by quadrupole-based ICP-mass spectrometry. A systematic difference between the two setups is found for Pb concentrations, with the higher concentrations measured in lichens from the uncovered devices. Lead concentrations in lichens from the covered devices were found to be lower than or equal to the original concentration. Also the Pb isotopic compositions show a systematic difference between the devices, with the Pb isotopic composition have been present in lichens from the uncovered device being more radiogenic. Substantial changes in the isotopic composition of Pb are recorded for lichens from the uncovered device (from about 1.15 up to 1.22 for the Pb-206/Pb-207 ratio), in some cases already after only 34 days of exposure. The increases in the Pb concentration and the Pb-206/Pb-207 ratio and the differences between the devices are explained by hypothesizing that (i) different Pb sources give rise to a different size distribution of aerosol particles and (ii) in the lichens present in the covered setup, a part of the aerosol particles cannot be incorporated. Also the influence of the source of the aerosols to lichens after transplantation is evaluated and the potential influence of biological reactions is discussed.

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