Heavy Metals and Arsenic in Soils from Grasslands in Bulgarka Nature Park

University of Forestry, BG – 1714 Sofia, Bulgaria


KARATOTEVA, D., E. TSVETKOVA and D. BEZLOVA, 2014. Heavy metals and arsenic in soils from grasslands in Bulgarka Nature Park. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 20: 73-78


In a recent study, we detected elevated content of heavy metals in medicinal plants and pasture grasses of Bulgarka Nature Park. In the present work, we have investigated the content of lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) in the soils of these grasslands. The highest concentrations were found in soils from the grassland in Malusha site. The mean value for Pb content was very high (183±141 mg.kg-1 DW), while the value for As content was 78±18 mg.kg-1 DW. Both elements exceeded the maximum permitted level for grasslands. The maximum concentrations of Pb and As (497 mg.kg-1 DW and 112 mg.kg-1 DW, respectively) were detected only in the eastern part of the grassland of Malusha site. Thus, it is recommended to perform soil mapping and limit grazing within definite parts of the site. A source of risk to the environment could be considered the enhanced soil levels of As in the grasslands of Ispolin Peak site (17-74 mg.kg-1 DW), the village Ezeroto (107 mg.kg-1 DW) and the grasslands near Gabrovo hut (43 mg.kg-1 DW).

Key words: grassland, protected areas, maximum permitted level, risk assessment
Abbreviations: nature park (NP), maximum permitted level (MPL)

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