Keywords: technoecosystems, INAA, instrumental NAA, neutron activation analysis, active biomonitoring, passive biomonitoring, sustainable sampling, Tillandsia, Canistropsis billbergioides, chemical elements, air pollution, air quality, urban water ecosystems, tree leaves
Atmospheric chemical element pollution in an urban water-associated environment
Nowadays, sustainability has become a complicated issue mainly in urban centres. Owing to the atmospheric emissions, the incorporation of toxic chemical elements is still not well known for urban water-associated ecosystems. Tillandsia bromeliads were employed as passive biomonitors of air pollution. Otherwise, the tank bromeliad Canistropsis billbergioides, native to the Atlantic Forest, was employed for assessing pollution levels since the tank, unlike atmospheric epiphytes, also accumulates chemical elements from water and litterfall. The present study aimed at using leaves of the native epiphytic bromeliads (passive biomonitoring) from riparian areas and the species C. billbergioides (active) to evaluate the atmospheric input of chemical elements for wet ecosystems from the Piracicaba City, Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Chemical elements determined by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA), such as As, Cr, Hg, Ni, Sb and Zn, were accumulated in leaves of bromeliads. By combining passive and active experimental designs, hotspots for chemical atmospheric pollution were identified in the Piracicaba River Basin.