First national survey of atmospheric heavy metal deposition in Hungary by the analysis of mosses

E. Ötvös, T. Pázmándi, Z. Tuba

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The atmospheric deposition of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, V and Zn in Hungary was investigated by using moss species as bioindicators. Our research was part of an international mapping project (Atmospheric Heavy Metal Deposition in Europe) [NORD 21 (1987) 1-44; NORD 9 (1994)] carried out in the most European countries in the 1990s to determine and to compare atmospheric heavy metal background pollution by standardized methods. Sampling was performed at 116 sites distributed over Hungary in the autumn of 1997. Moss species of Hypnum cupressiforme (72.4%) were preferred. But where it could not be collected, other species were taken. Unwashed, dried samples were digested with H2O2/HNO3, and the concentrations of heavy metals were determined by ICP-AES. The results reflect local emission points. Background mean levels of Cd, Fe and Ni were mildly elevated in comparison to European means [NORD 9 (1994)]. Probably, that was due not only to pollution, but to the use of Hypnum cupressiforme, which can accumulate higher concentrations of heavy metals compared to other species. The results are presented on colored contour maps obtained with the SURFER program (Golden Software Inc. Co).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2003



  • Bioindication
  • Biomonitoring
  • Bryophytes
  • Heavy metal pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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