Chemical elements accumulated in the mosses (Sphagnum sp., Hylocomium splendens, Palustriella commutata) collected in the Belianske Tatra Mountains
Mosses are often used for the analysis of chemical elements and air pollutants, due to their high ability to accumulate in tissues. In this study, we focused on moss species such as Palustriella commutata, Hylocomium splendens and Sphagnum sp. These species can be suitable indicators of the accumulation of selected elements such as S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Zr, Mo, Cd, Sb, Ba and Pb, due to their wider occurrence (water environment, decaying wood, waterlogged soil) in the Tatras. We collected a total of 278 samples (Hylocomium splendens - 76, Palustriella commutata - 115 and Sphagnum sp. - 87) at six locations (1083-1566 m a. s. l.), at regular monthly intervals during two years between October 2019 and December 2021. Individual elements were measured by an XRF spectrometer and levels of Cd by AAS. The results confirmed the difference in accumulation between species, wherein Palustriella commutata accumulated the most elements. The elements S, K and Ca, which are the main plant nutrients, showed the highest values. Differences between sites were also confirmed, which can be influenced by many factors, including rainfall, geology, and altitude, whereas Cd exhibited a clear positive cumulation trend with altitude. Significant seasonal differences were confirmed only in the species Hylocomium splendens and Sphagnum sp. which can be considered a suitable species for tracking seasonality and the cycle of elements in the ecosystem. Levels of Cl and K were the highest in summer, and Fe, Pb and Zn gradually accumulated during the spring and summer. The lowest values were measured in fall (Zn and Pb) and winter (Cl, Ti, and Cr).
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