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Heavy metal content in Thlaspi caerulescens J. et C. Presl growing on metalliferous and non-metalliferous soils in Central Slovakia

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Thlaspi caerulescens is an important component of specific vegetation on mine wastes in Central Slovakia including those containing high soil concentrations of Zn, Pb and Cd in Banska Stiavnica and Cu in Spania Dolina. The population density of T. caerulescens varied in both metalliferous and non-metalliferous soils. Selective distribution of metals was observed in T. caerulescens: Cu and Pb remained in the roots while Zn and Cd were hyperaccumulated in leaves. In the leaves of plants growing on metalliferous soils maximum concentrations were 19410 mg/kg Zn and 80 mg/kg Cd dry matter and on non-metalliferous soils 16670 mg/kg Zn and 127 mg/kg Cd dry matter. Hyperaccumulation and selective uptake were also confirmed by leaf/soil bioconcentration factors with a maximum of 317 for Cd and 370 for Zn, versus 0.07 for Pb and 0.46 for Cu obtained from non-metalliferous habitats.

Keywords: cadmium, copper, hyperaccumulation, lead, old mines, spoil heap vegetation, population density, Thlaspi caerulescens, zinc, heavy metals, environmental pollution, Slovakia, mine wastes, soil contamination

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