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Chemistry for Sustainable Development

2008 year, number 2

Needle of Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) as a Bioindicator for Atmospheric Pollution with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

A. G. Gorshkov, T. A. Mikhailova, N. S. Berezhnaya, A. L. Vereshchagin
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris L. pine needle, biomonitor, atmospheric pollution, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Pages: 155-162


Determination of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) accumulated in the needle of a Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was for the first time carried out over the Baikal Natural Territory (BNT). It has been established, that in the industrial and urbanized territories of the BNT the level of PAH accumulation in needle amounts to as much as 1800 ng/g, whereas the background regions of BNT this value is less than 20-60 ng/g. The composition of PAH accumulated includes a priority series of organic pollutants from this class. The investigation of different age needle has demonstrated that the needle of the second year could be considered as an adequate bioindicator of atmospheric pollution. The levels of PAH accumulation in pine needle indicate a local character of atmospheric pollution over the southern part of BNT, as well as an insignificant contribution of regional transfer of the mentioned pollutants to the pollution of the Baikal lakeside comparable with the background level. The comparison of PAH content in the needle with the suppression degree of pine timber-stands allows one to assume these pollutants to exhibit a phytotoxic effect.