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Accumulation parameters and seasonal trends for PCBs in temperate and boreal forest plant species.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Luca Nizzetto
  • Cristina Pastore
  • Xiang Liu
  • Paolo Camporini
  • Daniela Stroppiana
  • Ben Herbert
  • Mirco Boschetti
  • Gan Zhang
  • Pietro A. Brivio
  • Kevin C. Jones
  • Antonio Di Guardo
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/08/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number16
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)5911-5916
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the air and vegetation was measured periodically in two alpine forests, during the growing season. Foliage samples from nine plant species typical of the temperate and boreal environment were collected and analyzed. Leaf concentrations of tri- and tetra-CBs showed fast response times with changing temperature and gas-phase concentrations, suggesting that a partitioning equilibrium is approached relatively rapidly (few days) in the field. Heavier compounds showed kinetically limited accumulation trends, not reaching equilibrium during the growing season. Results were used to estimate the bioconcentration factors or equilibrium plant/air partition coefficient (KPA) for each species. Values of log KPA (calculated on a mass/volume basis) ranged between 0.78 and 1.96 and were correlated to the log KOA. Uptake trends of the higher chlorinated compounds showed intraspecific differences which were partially explained by the specific leaf area (SLA).