Keywords: moss, Syntrichia ruralis, transplant, atmospheric pollution, passive sampler, VOCs, volatile organic compounds, BTEX, accumulation, active biomonitoring, in situ exposure, air pollution, air quality, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, sorption, desorption
Potential use of Syntrichia ruralis for monitoring atmospheric BTEX
Many studies deal with the bioaccumulation of metals in mosses. In contrast, the knowledge about organic pollutants is less extensive and there is a relative lack of studies using plants for the biomonitoring of volatile organic compounds such as Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes (BTEX). Both in situ and in controlled conditions, this study deals with the capacity of mosses to accumulate BTEX and the BTEX exchange between the moss and the atmosphere. The variations of the concentrations of BTEX in Syntrichia ruralis did not correspond to a phenomenon of accumulation. In controlled conditions, the correlation between the concentration of benzene in moss and the atmospheric concentration indicates that the concentrations in moss would principally result from equilibrium due to the sorption?desorption balance between the moss and the environment. The variations of concentrations in moss would be influenced by short-time variations of the atmospheric pollution levels and meteorological conditions.