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Trace element accumulation in tree rings of pinus halepensis during the last 140 years

  • Authors
    Pantera A.
    Papadopoulos A.
    Orfanoudakis M.

The trace element analysis of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill) as a function of tree
age, was achieved by the tree-ring sampling method, in a polluted region of Attica,
Greece. The elements quantitatively determined for the last 140 years by atomic
spectrophotometry analysis were: Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn and Pb. With the exception of Pb, all
other elements tend to increase for the time period of this study. A very interesting
fluctuation was noted between the years 1920 to 1960-1970, a time coinciding with the
major industrial activity of the area. The decreasing concentration of all elements for the
last few decades may be attributed to the increasing environmental awareness as well as
respective regulations posed by the government and the E.U. The radial distribution of
concentrations in annual tree rings provides adequate information that, in most of the
cases, can be related to the history of the tree and the biological processes interacting on
its growth. Soil, litter, air deposits and water are important nutrient sources contributing
to changes in elemental concentration in the annual rings.