In biomonitoring, the knowledge of background element content (BEC) values is an essential pre-requisite for the correct assessment of pollution levels. Here, we estimated the BEC values of a highly performing biomonitor, the epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea, by means of a careful review of literature data, integrated by an extensive field survey. Methodologically homogeneous element content datasets, reflecting different exposure conditions across European and extra-European countries, were compiled and comparatively analysed. Element content in samples collected in remote areas was compared to that of potentially enriched samples, testing differences between medians for 25 elements. This analysis confirmed that the former samples were substantially unaffected by anthropogenic contributions, and their metrics were therefore proposed as a first overview at supra-national background level. We also showed that bioaccumulation studies suffer a huge methodological variability. Limited to original field data, we investigated the background variability of 43 elements in 62 remote Italian sites, characterized in GIS environment for anthropization, land use, climate and lithology at different scale resolution. The relationships between selected environmental descriptors and BEC were tested using Principal Component Regression (PCR) modelling. Elemental composition resulted significantly dependent on land use, climate and lithology. In the case of lithogenic elements, regression models correctly reproduced the lichen content throughout the country at randomly selected sites. Further descriptors should be identified only for As, Co, and V. Through a multivariate approach we also identified three geographically homogeneous macro-regions for which specific BECs were provided for use as reference in biomonitoring applications.

Background element content of the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea: A supra-national state of art implemented by novel field data from Italy

Incerti, Guido;
2018

Abstract

In biomonitoring, the knowledge of background element content (BEC) values is an essential pre-requisite for the correct assessment of pollution levels. Here, we estimated the BEC values of a highly performing biomonitor, the epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea, by means of a careful review of literature data, integrated by an extensive field survey. Methodologically homogeneous element content datasets, reflecting different exposure conditions across European and extra-European countries, were compiled and comparatively analysed. Element content in samples collected in remote areas was compared to that of potentially enriched samples, testing differences between medians for 25 elements. This analysis confirmed that the former samples were substantially unaffected by anthropogenic contributions, and their metrics were therefore proposed as a first overview at supra-national background level. We also showed that bioaccumulation studies suffer a huge methodological variability. Limited to original field data, we investigated the background variability of 43 elements in 62 remote Italian sites, characterized in GIS environment for anthropization, land use, climate and lithology at different scale resolution. The relationships between selected environmental descriptors and BEC were tested using Principal Component Regression (PCR) modelling. Elemental composition resulted significantly dependent on land use, climate and lithology. In the case of lithogenic elements, regression models correctly reproduced the lichen content throughout the country at randomly selected sites. Further descriptors should be identified only for As, Co, and V. Through a multivariate approach we also identified three geographically homogeneous macro-regions for which specific BECs were provided for use as reference in biomonitoring applications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1122688
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