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Authors: Kodnik, Danijela* 
Winkler, Aldo* 
Candotto Carniel, Fabio* 
Tretiach, Mauro* 
Title: Biomagnetic monitoring and element content of lichen transplants in a mixed land use area of NE Italy
Issue Date: 17-Apr-2017
Series/Report no.: /595 (2017)
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.261
Keywords: Air pollution
environmental magnetism
magnetic properties
particulate matter
Subject Classification05.09. Miscellaneous 
Abstract: The aim of this study was to verify whether it is possible to discriminate between the different pollution sources present in a mixed land use area of NE Italy on the basis of the magnetic properties and the element content of lichen transplants. Thalli of Pseudevernia furfuracea were collected in a pristine area of the South-Eastern Alps and exposed for 2months in 40 sites located at the knots of a 700m step grid covering ca. 40km(2) of a mosaic of agricultural, forested, industrial and urban areas. In this way, the samples could be analyzed after a defined period of time, and compared to pre-exposure conditions. The post-exposure element content and the magnetic data substantially agreed, revealing a rather modest anthropogenic impact on the territory, mostly limited to an industrial park. Since the magnetic mineralogy was homogeneous throughout the entire set of samples, with magnetite-like minerals as the main magnetic carriers, it was not possible to discriminate between PM originating from the different pollution sources. The contribution given by the industrial park could be confirmed by the multivariate analysis of the element data set. Conversely, it was possible to assess the low environmental impact of the largest local industry, a cement plant, located outside the industrial park. Notwithstanding the relatively short time of the survey, P. furfuracea was proven to be an effective accumulator for biomagnetic monitoring studies, its magnetic properties being excellent proxies for heavy metal pollution even when the anthropogenic impact on the territory is low.
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