Spatial patterns and temporal trends of heavy metal concentrations in moss and surface soil specimens collected in Norway between 1990 and 2010
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnvironmental Sciences Europe 2014, 26(1) 10.1186/s12302-014-0027-0
Background: The aim of this investigation was to inquire whether the spatial patterns and temporal trends of heavy metal concentrations in moss and soil specimen monitored in two spatial dense networks covering Norway are correlated. To this end, data about concentrations of cadmium, mercury and lead in moss and soil specimens collected were compiled. The data were derived from moss surveys conducted in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010, as well as from soil monitoring campaigns in 1995 and 2005. Results: The data sets from both moss and soil surveys indicate a decrease of heavy metal concentrations in moss and soil specimen. However, in case of moss samples, the decrease is by far more pronounced and statistically significant. The heavy metal concentrations in moss and soil are correlated significantly with high positive coefficients for Pb, medium for Cd and moderate for Hg. From a set of potentially influencing boundary conditions, the modelled atmospheric deposition showed the highest correlation with the heavy metal concentrations in moss and soil. The spatial patterns of Cd and Pb concentration in moss and soil specimens 1995 and 2005 are similar. Thereby, the spatial differentiation of concentrations in moss is higher than that in soil, while the opposite holds true for the Hg concentration. Conclusions: Even if the metal concentrations in moss and soil are statistically correlated, they should not be replaced by each other but should be used as complementary monitoring systems.