Short-term monitoring of Arctic trace metal contamination based on Cetrariella delisei bioindicator in Svalbard

Michal Hubert Wegrzyn, Paulina Wietrzyk-Pełka, Paweł Nicia, Sara Lehmann-Konera, Maria Olech


This study focuses on short-term monitoring of trace metals in the Svalbard archipelago. Short-term studies using lichen bioindicators are important because temporary changes in lichen trace metal levels are mainly dependent on air pollutants. Here, we investigated temporal and spatial differences in the content of trace metals such as Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, and Zn measured in the lichen thalli of Cetrariella delisei. The temporal aspect was studied in the marine plain of Calypsostranda between 1988 and 2016 and that of Hornsundneset between 1985 and 2008. The spatial aspect was studied between Hornsundneset in 1985 and Calypsostranda in 1988 as well as between Hornsundneset in 2008 and Calypsostranda in 2016. The results revealed an increase in the concentration of Cr, Mn, Ni, and Co for both the aspects, while a decrease in the contents of Cu, Cd, and Mo was observed. Pb content varied, as Pb level increased with time in Hornsundneset but decreased in Calypsostranda. The Zn content showed no significant changes in both temporal and spatial aspects.


lichens; heavy metals; potential toxic metals; spatial and temporal trends; Spitsbergen

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