Plantago lanceolata L. as a Biomonitor of Trace Elements in an Urban Area

1 University of Plovdiv “Paisii Hilendarski”, Faculty of Biology, Department of Ecology and EnvironmentalConservation, BG – 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, BG – 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
3 Agricultural University of Plovdiv, BG - 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


PETROVA, S., I. VELCHEVA, L.YURUKOVA and M.BEROVA, 2014. Plantago lanceolata L. as a biomonitor of trace elements in an urban area. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 20: 325-329


To get real information on environmental pollution with trace elements (Al, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn) and their mobility in urban ecosystems, Plantago lanceolata L. plants and soil samples were collected in May 2010. Sampling sites were selected in urban areas with different anthropogenic impact (Plovdiv, Bulgaria). Significantly, elevated concentrations of Cd, Cr and Al were registered in all samples. Differences between trace element concentrations in sampled phytomass led to evaluation of the urban gradient theory in the context of the city of Plovdiv. The results of the investigation revealed the main problems and unfavorable factors, which affected urban vegetation. Automobile transport was found to be the major source of contamination, followed by the industry. The contribution of some additional factors as canyon-street effect, wind rose, climate and topography of the region towards forming the environmental state was discussed. The approach used in our study could be successfully applied as a model to explore possibilities of using other herbaceous plant species for biomonitoring of the urban environmental status.

Key words: trace elements, urban environment, biomonitoring, herbaceous plants

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