Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Summary The concentrations of 23 elements have been determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis in the needles and axes of 1-year-old spruce twigs from 12 different sites. Although the twigs had been washed with toluene and tetrahydrofuran prior to analysis, it was found that the amounts of eight elements (Al, Cr, Eu, Fe, La, Sc, Th and V) present were predominantly due to aerosol particles still being retained on the surface of the axes. The results of the remaining 15 elements (Ba, Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cs, Hg, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, Rb, Sr and Zn) were not or only slightly influenced by this effect and are considered to represent their inherent concentrations within the axes. With most of these latter 15 elements there are highly significant and linear correlations between the concentrations in the needles and in the axis, which testify to the great similarity of needles and axis of a twig. The axis/needles ratios are constant for every element (except K), but the individual elements show considerable differentiation, as evidenced by their ratios, which have values between 0.5 and 2.8. Inter-element correlations in the axes are mainly found within two groups of elements. With Na, Cl and Br these correlations are probably due to different pollution levels of the different sites, whereas with Mn, Co, Rb and Cs they are due to the pH of the soil. The activity of 137Cs from the Chernobyl fallout represents independent confirmation of the results obtained with the stable elements. With twigs sprouted before the deposition of the fallout, 137Cs acts as a tracer for aerosol particles, whereas it forms a tracer for the stable Cs inherent to the plant with twigs sprouted after the deposition.
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