Air pollution study in Macedonia using a moss biomonitoring technique, ICP-AES and AAS

Lambe Barandovski, Trajce Stafilov, Robert Sajn, Marina Frontasyeva, Katerina Baceva

Abstract


In the framework of the International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE-ICP Vegetation) Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), in 2002 and 2005, a moss biomonitoring technique was applied to air pollution studies in the Republic of Macedonia. The third moss survey took place in August and September 2010 when 72 samples of the terrestrial mosses Homalothecium lutescens and Hypnum cupressiforme were collected over the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, using the same sampling network grid as for the previous surveys. Using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) and atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS), a total of 18 elements (Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, Pb, Sr, V and Zn) were determined. To reveal hidden multivariate data structures and to identify and characterize different pollution sources, Principal Component Analysis was used. Distributional maps were prepared to point out the regions most affected by pollution and related to known sources of contamination. As in the previous surveys, the regions near the towns of Skopje, Veles, Tetovo, Radoviš and Kavadarci were found to be most affected by pollution, even though the median elemental content in the mosses in 2010 for  Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn was slightly lower than in the previous surveys. For the first time, P content in the moss samples was analyzed, and a higher content of this element as well as K in the mosses was observed in the agricultural regions of the country.


Keywords


Moss, biomonitoring, air pollution, heavy metals, Macedonia

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20450/mjcce.2013.137

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