Evidence for Nonstomatal Uptake of Hg by Aspen and Translocation of Hg from Foliage to Tree Rings in Austrian Pine
Environmental Science & Technology
To determine whether trees are reliable biomonitors of air mercury (Hg) pollution concentrations were measured in bark, foliage, and tree rings. Data were developed using 4-year old Pinus and Populus trees grown from common genetic stock in Oregon and subsequently transferred to four air treatments differing in gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) chemistry and total gaseous Hg (TGM) concentrations. Soil of a subset of trees was spiked with HgBr2 in solution to test for root uptake. Results indicate no significant effect of the soil spike or GOM compounds on tree tissue Hg concentrations. TGM treatment had a significant effect on Pinus and Populus foliage, and Pinus year 5 growth ring concentrations. Populus foliar Hg concentrations were highest in the exposure where 24 h TGM concentrations were highest, indicating the importance of the nonstomatal pathway for uptake. Pinus tree ring concentrations were correlated to day time TGM concentrations suggesting Hg accumulation into tree rings is by way of the stomata and subsequent translocation by way of phloem. Populus leaves and Pinus rings can be used as biomonitors for TGM concentrations over space. However, the use of trees as temporal proxies requires further investigation due to radial translocation observed in active sapwood tree rings.
Arnold, J., M. S. Gustin, and P. J. Weisberg. 2018. Evidence for Nonstomatal Uptake of Hg by Aspen and Translocation of Hg from Foliage to Tree Rings in Austrian Pine. Environmental science & technology 52:1174-1182.