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      Heavy metals in soils and plants of serpentine and industrial sites of Albania

      The Science of The Total Environment

      Elsevier BV

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          Soils developed on serpentine rocks cover a large area in Albania which contains large reserves of iron, nickel, chromium and copper and is characterised by a high density of mines and metal smelters. This work was conducted to study the flora associated with serpentine and former industrial and mining sites in Albania. Eight sites were investigated in the south-eastern, central and northern parts of the country. Soils were sampled in the Ap horizon and plants were collected and identified. Plant material was allowed to dry before being ground. Soil and plant samples were analysed for total Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mg, Ni, Pb and Zn. Results showed that each site exhibited a high concentration of one or more metals. The maximum concentrations of metals in soils dry matter (DM) were 14 mg Cd kg-1, 476 mg Co kg-1, 3865 mg Cr kg-1, 1107 mg Cu kg-1, 3579 mg Ni kg-1, 172 mg Pb kg-1 and 2495 mg Zn kg-1. The Mg/Ca ratio in serpentine soils varied from 1 to 7.8. A collection of 58 plant species, members of 44 genera and 17 families, were collected. Alyssum markgrafii in the north and Alyssum murale in the south-eastern serpentines had a concentration of 1.26 and 0.85% Ni in DM, respectively. In the species Herniaria hirsuta, a serpentine plant, concentrations of 808 mg Ni kg-1 and 275 mg Cr kg-1 in DM were recorded. Other taxa (Filago, Inula, Picris, Galamintha, Marrubium, Teucrium, Lotus, Ononis and Xeranthemum) from serpentines had a high, but not exceptional Ni content. Some species collected on serpentines and industrial sites presented rather high concentrations of lead or copper in their above-ground parts, probably related to contamination by soil dust.

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          The Science of The Total Environment
          Elsevier BV
          January 19 1998
          : 209
          : 2-3
          : 133-142
          © 1998


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