Copper and lead bioaccumulation by Acacia retinoides and Eucalyptus torquata in sites contaminated as a consequence of extensive ancient mining activities in Cyprus
Sommaire de l'article
Aspects of the industrial archaeology of the northwestern part of the island of Cyprus are outlined. Wastes resultant from copper mining activities of approximately two millennia ago continue to exert an important influence on organisms. Detailed chemical analysis of two tree species growing on archaeologically important metalliferous spoil tips has indicated their ability to bioaccumulate heavy metals and sulfur primarily from the substratum; the bioaccumulation and bio magnification of lead and sulfur are particularly marked in both Acacia and Eucalyptus. The concentrations of elements in different parts of the two tree species are discussed and partitioning is noted together with the fact that while the pod of Acacia and the fruit capsule of Eucalyptus may have an enhanced metal loading, the values in the seeds are much reduced; the importance of this is discussed. The seeds of Acacia differ chemically from those of Eucalyptus. The importance of these plants as biomonitors of environmental quality is noted.