Element transfer at the soil-plant interface and accumulation strategies of vegetation overgrowing mining waste dumps in the Upper Silesia area (Poland)

Łukasz Kruszewski, Monika Kisiel, Marta Wojewódka-Przybył, Jacek Stienss


We describe new data constraining patterns of interaction of soils and vegetation in post-coal-mining and post-smelting waste heaps of Upper Silesia. Mosses show the highest levels of many elements. We use 3 standard bioconcentration indices to show directions of transfer of both trace and major elements (53 in soils, 37 in plants) in particular plant organs. Solanum nigrum around organic- and S-rich fumaroles of the “Ruda” heap (Zabrze) shows 36 indices with values ≥2 (31-element basis) suggesting the largest hyperaccumulation potential (HP), especially of Cd, Mo, Sr, Zn, Mn and Au; also Hg, U, Al, Ti, Fe, Cu, Au and few others. Verbascum (4 specimens) shows HP for Tl, Sb, Cd and Sr. It is the major scavenger of V, Cr, Co, Ni, Ga, As, Hg, P and Bi, and occasionally of B, Hg, Au and Te. Crepis mollis shows evident affinity for W and Au, and Solidago gigantea for Ag. Anomalies of W are also present in mosses (2 specimens) and a grass, and of Au in one moss, Tussilago farfara and Eupatorium cannabinum. Most elements are transferred to leaves, with the partial exception of Cd and Tl. Variable behaviour is found for Cd, Tl, Cu, Se, Sr, Mo; Cu, Zn, B and W.


soil-to-plant element transfer; waste heaps; bioaccumulation factor; bioconcentration indices; translocation factor; Verbascum

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