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Trace elements in forest soils of the Czech Republic according to biochemical monitoring and their relation to the geological background


Václav Procházka, Julie Sucharová, Ivan Suchara, Marie Holá

Geoscience Research Reports 52, 2019, pages 117–123

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Published online: 16 June 2019

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Results of ICP-Vegetation monitoring program were previously interpreted mainly for estimation of environmental pollution loads. The biochemical monitoring included determination of 36-40 elements in the mineral soil, forest-floor humus and biomass of selected plants of coniferous forests at ca. 250 sites across the Czech Republic. Here, we interpret the monitoring data chiefly in relation to the bedrock geology (and expected geochemistry). In the aboveground biomass (epigeic moss, grass, annual and biennial spruce needles) as well as in humus the relation of individual element concentration to its concentration in the mineral soil is usually missing or very weak, with exceptions mainly in the case of Mg, Rb, Sr, Cs and Ca.
Several ”exotic“ trace elements for which reliable petrochemical data have usually been insufficient are evaluated (Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Cu, Hg, Li, Mo, Tl; partial datasets were also interpreted for Ge, In and W; see Tables 1, 2). The comparison of soil- and biomass data shows that the influence of atmospheric deposition (or other superficial contamination) on B2 soil horizons is usually irrelevant except for Hg and Cd in some cases; otherwise an anomalous element content in B2 horizon should reflect the bedrock composition. The anomalies of Ag, As, Cd (accompanying Zn - Fig. 1), Hg, Li, Mo and possibly Cu are related to local or regional mineralizations rather than to specific rock types, while Bi and W are concentrated in granites (mainly in the Karlovy Vary region) and Tl shows high content in K-rich granites and durbachites with close relation to Rb (Fig. 3). Germanium and partly copper in both B1 and B2 horizons correlate significantly with Fe and Mn (Fig. 2).
In the biomass variability of the most elements is controlled by atmospheric deposition (including regional mineral dust), the peak values being mainly in areas of high dustiness (NW Bohemia, S Moravia). In the forest floor humus, the combined effect of atmospheric deposition and bedrock composition lead to regionally elevated contents of Ag, Bi, Mo, Sn and W mainly in mountains of northwestern and northern Bohemia (the same probably applies for In which, however, was determined in moss biomass only).


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