Natural Environment Monitoring 2009, No 10, pp. 35-44
EFFICIENCY AND SELECTIVITY OF REAGENTS USED TO CHEMICAL FRACTIONATION OF HEAVY METALS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SOLID SAMPLE
Ryszard Świetlik, Marzena Trojanowska
Total concentration of metals in environmental samples does not provide suitable information about mobility and bioavailability of potentially toxic elements. It is now widely recognized that the toxicity and the mobility of metals depend strongly on their specific chemical forms and physical phases. Single and sequential extraction methods have been widely applied to characterize the chemical forms of metals in solid samples. Sequential selective extraction techniques are commonly used to chemical fractionation the solid-phase forms of metals in environmental samples. Many sequential extraction schemes have been developed for different solid samples (sediments, soils, slugdes). Despite numerous criticisms, extraction procedures remain very useful in environmental studies and are considered an essential tool in establishing element fractionation in solid phase. This article reviews the most commonly reagents used in the various procedures. From this review, it appears that all reagents used in various schemes have advantages and disadvantages. The choice of procedure must be related to a definite objective, taking into account nature of the sample and selectivity of the reagents used in the procedure.
Natural Environment Monitoring 2009, No 10, pp. 65-72
DETERMINING THE ROLE OF FOG DEPOSITS AS CONDITIONERS
OF THROUGHFALL VOLUME
In the central part of the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mountains, tree stands affect throughfall transformation considerably. On average, in the years 2000-2008, throughfall in the beech stand amounted to 75.2 %, and in the fir-beech stand – to 74.1% of bulk precipitation, displaying considerable seasonal variation. From October to March, cases of throughfall exceeding bulk precipitation volume were recorded. The cause of this phenomenon is the so-called fog deposits.
The results of studies into spatial distribution of precipitation which penetrates tree crowns draw special attention to areas right below fir tree crowns, which receive markedly larger amounts of water than the areas below beech crowns. Undoubtedly, the reason for this distribution is an additional source of precipitation which is, as already indicated, fog deposits. The highest volume of precipitation was recorded below crown edges where the average values obtained accounted for over 176 % of bulk precipitation. The lowest precipitation, under 70 %, was recorded next to the trunk and below the central part of beech crowns. This phenomenon is referred to as “the umbrella” in fir trees and “the funnel” in beech trees.
Natural Environment Monitoring 2009, No 10, pp. 81-89
CARBONE CAPTURE AND STORAGE (CCS) – LEGAL REGULATIONS
The regulations concerning carbon dioxide geological storage are a brand new regulations not only in the energy law, but also in environmental protection law area. These regulations shall be only the bridging solution which goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emission to the air until some effective methods will be implement.
The technology is quite controversial, especially in scientific circles, which remind about the danger connected with the storage. It seems however that because of the obligation of CO2 reduction limits accepted both by EU and Polish government, the CCS technology is the only way to fulfill it.
According to the Polish Ministry of Environmental statement: “Poland has a chance to realize two demonstration CCS facilities as a part of the Flagship Project EU 10 – 12 demonstrative CCS project planed in UE. The results obtain till year 2015 from two demonstration project placed in Bałchatów and Kędzieżyn, will give a solid basic to decide about the rage of implementation of CCS technology in Poland.” (www.mos.gov.pl).
Natural Environment Monitoring 2009, No 10, pp. 57-64
POSSIBLE USES OF EPIPHYTES FOR AIR POLLUTION ASSESSMENT IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE ŚWIĘTOKRZYSKIE (HOLY CROSS) MOUNTAINS
Małgorzata Anna Jóźwiak
Until recently, the problems and anxieties related to air pollution have centred around the concentration of individual pollutants in atmospheric air. In recent years, research into the assessment of the natural environment’s condition has been intensified with the use of bioindicators. An assessment of the environment’s chemical quality, conducted on the basis of biological indicators, is a very good method of checking how living organisms respond to changes in the chemical composition of air.
The objective of the present study has been to provide an assessment of possible uses of epiphytes for specification of the sanitary condition of atmospheric air. The study was conducted in the years 2003-2008 in the area of a forest ecosystem in the central part of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. The subject of the study was a lichen with a heterometric thallus, Hypogymnia physodes (L.) Nyl. – Hooded Tube Lichen, Genus: Hypogymnia (Nyl.) Nyl., Familia: Parmeliaceae.
In order to determine the dynamics of the Hypogymnia physodes lichen thallus growth under conditions of prolonged, remote acidic ambient concentration, the linear method was used (Nieboer, Richardson 1981). It consisted in the selection of fixed areas (6 sites – trees) where the lichen occurred (Photo 3) and annual measurement of the thallus area. The cumulation levels of heavy metals from the air in the lichen thallus were also measured in the Świętokrzyskie National Park forest ecosystem in relation to the height above sea level. The lichens were exposed at 17 sites in the transect on the northern slope of Mt. Łysiec (Fig. 1) on twigs brought from the Borecka Primeval Forest. The conducted study enables the statement that the lichen biota provides a good indicator of environmental change, which is mainly due to lichen anatomical structure, i.e. lack of the cuticula and epidermis, very low chlorophyll content in proportion to thallus weight, as well as the capacity to absorb moisture in the form of water vapour from the surroundings, together with pollutants found in the air. These features provided the basis for the selection of lichens as bioindicators in the studies by Fałtynowicz (1995), Cuny et al. (2000), Sawicka-Kapusta et al. (2002, 2005); Calvelo, Liberatore (2004). A significant feature of lichens is their widespread occurrence and capacity to cumulate toxic substances in concentrations which are detrimental to higher plants and animals (Puckett 1988; Jones et al. 1991; Jóźwiak 2007).
The study into the Hypogymnia physodes (L.) Nyl lichen thallus growth as well as the volume of heavy metal cumulation in the thallus have enabled an assessment of the possibilities of these organisms being used for air pollution monitoring in the forest ecosystem. It has been concluded that
- lichen biota constitutes a good indicator of environmental change, mainly due to the anatomic build which enables the absorption of moisture in the form of water vapour from the surroundings, together with pollutants found in the air.
- in forest ecosystems we rarely deal with the so-called lichen-free zones, hence lichens occurring in permanent sites can be used for the purposes of air pollution assessment. Then, growth or decrease in the thallus area points to the sanitary condition of atmospheric air, simultaneously defining the biotope conditions.
- for assessing the extent of air pollution, mostly with regard to heavy metals in forest ecosystems exposed to ambient concentrations, lichens transplanted from low-pollution areas can be used.
Natural Environment Monitoring 2009, No 10, pp. 29-34
POSSIBLE USES OF RED HYBRYD OF CALIFORNIA (EISENIA FOETIDA SAV.) FOR INDUSTRIAL ORGANIC WASTES UTILIZATION
Malgorzata Anna Jóźwiak, Przemysław Rybiński
Used tyres are one of the most significant environmental problems in the world. One of the method of utilization is the use of ground material from tyres to harden and supplement the hard shoulders of the reads.
Mixing the rubber in such a from with the soil leads to soil pollution which has a negative influence on plants and soil organism (Gondek, Filipek-Mazur 1999).
This negative influence stems from the chemical composition of the tyres. This mixture consists of rubber, different fillings mainly soot on the surface of which there is some amount of PAH, netted substances which belong to toxic, irritant substances and hardening substances for example: paraffin oil or kerosene oil.
They migrate on the surface of rubber products while they are being stored, and then easily get into the surface water or into the soil causing for pollution.
In the article bioutilization of the tyre material with the use of Red hybrid of California is presented. This method consists in creating vermicompost and putting a definite number of Red hybryd of California into it, preparing rubber mixture of ground tyre material which is added into the vermicompost during defferent trails.
Natural Environment Monitoring 2009, No 10, pp. 9-16
CONTEMPORARY PROCESSES OCCURRING IN THE GEOECOSYSTEM OF THE CENTRAL PART OF THE ŚWIĘTOKRZYSKIE (HOLY CROSS) MOUNTAINS
Growing amounts of data pertaining to the functioning of ecosystems, including their respective components and successive attempts at ordering them, have taught us humility with respect to nature. It must be realised that the causes of many presently significant environmental problems remain uninvestigated and only come to be noted when their activity and pressure aggravate considerably.
The region of the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mountains, elevated 100-300m above its surroundings, is currently exposed to both local and remote industrial and transport-related emissions, particularly from the dominant western as well as north- and south-western winds (Kowalkowski 1994; Jóźwiak 1998, 2001, 2007). The research discussed in the present article has covered the years 1994-2008 and was conducted in the central part of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. Measurements of the basic features of a representative eco-habitat were taken in the vertical section of the system: atmosphere (input) – hylosphere – pedosphere (transformation) – hydrosphere, lithosphere (output), Fig. 1. A detailed sample collection methodology has been described in the works by Jóźwiak (2001) as well as Jóźwiak and Kowalkowski (2003).
The geoecosystem of the central part of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains is undergoing advanced, multi-faceted, accelerating changes caused by dry, moist and wet ambient concentrations. The main trend of these changes is towards progressive acidification due to increasing concentration of acid elements in the air. Emission of various gases, due to economic and living-related human activities, generates gas mixtures, while dusts suspended in atmospheric air are turned into aerosols which are mostly strongly acidic and directly affect vegetation.
Water penetrating tree stands in the geoecosystem of the central part of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains is subject to transformation through acidification (Fig. 3). The research so far has shown that, as a result of contact between precipitation water and plant surface, the pH decreases: under beeches – to the pH value of 4.78, under firs – to 4.31. The obtained values are related to acidogenic elements of NO3– and SO42- being washed out in tree crowns, together with H+ protons, adsorbed on plant surface due to dry deposition. In addition, as a result of stemflow, very aggressive water whose pH ranges from 2.93 to 7.31 (the weighted average amounting to 3.41) reaches the soil, causing the appearance of areas characterised by considerable impact of aggressive acid water around tree trunks (Fig. 4).
The result of adverse edaphic conditions in the central part of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains is advanced dieback of old-growth fir tree forests, and disease in the majority of fir overwood, as well as saplings and wildings. The beech has developed shoot whipping in upper crowns, while trunk bark demonstrates greyish and white-greyish seepage washed by the flow of aggressive acidic precipitation water. In the conditions of acidic soil, saturated with acidic H+, Al3+ and Fe3+ ions, alkaline cations originating from the tree stand are washed out of the soil within the range of root systems. In this way, under the very trees and within their root ranges, the soil is most strongly acidified and nutrient depleted. This process is particularly stimulated in beech-fir and beech stands. This state, as described by Kowalkowski and Jóźwiak (2000a), continues to aggravate.