Browsing by Subject "trace elements"

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  • Kohl, Lukas; Meng, Meng; de Vera, Joan; Bergquist, Bridget; Cooke, Colin A.; Hustings, Sarah; Jackson, Brian; Chow, Chung-Wai; Chan, Arthur W. H. (2019)
    Wildfires are increasing in prevalence and intensity and emit large quantities of persistent organic and inorganic pollutants. Recent fires have caused elevated concerns that residual pollutants in indoor environments pose a long‐term health hazard to residents, however, to date no studies have investigated how long fire‐derived pollutants are retained in indoor environments. We quantified polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and toxic trace elements in ground ashes from the 2016 wildland‐urban interface fires in Fort McMurray (Alberta, Canada) and in house dust from 64 homes. We document residual arsenic pollution from local building fires, but found no evidence that forest fire ash remained in households 14 months after the fire. Overall, house dust pollutant concentrations were equal or lower than in other locations unaffected by wildfires. Given the current and future concerns over wildfire impacts, this study provides importance evidence on the degree of their long‐term effects on the residential environment.
  • Owusu-Sekyere, Anthony (2021)
    Sustainable crop production is increasing, owing to environmental concerns over the intensive use of chemical fertilizers. This study investigated the effects of equal N substitution by pig slurry compost on micronutrients use efficiency and dry matter yield of Vicia faba L., Lupinus albus L. and Triticum aestivum L. Plants were grown in pots with sandy-loam soil and quartz (silica) sand under controlled greenhouse conditions. The treatments were (a) no fertilization (control), (b) NPK fertilizer, (c) pig slurry compost with 50% NPK (PSC), (d) quartz sand with pig slurry compost and 50% NPK (Quartz-PSC) applied at the same rate of 200mg N kg1 soil. Inorganic N (NPK) and PSC applications increased seed yield about 10-32%, shoot and root dry matter, on average, by 36% and 21% respectively in mature plants. Micronutrients uptake and use efficiencies were generally lower in PSC- plants than in NPK-plants. Results also showed increased seed Fe (3-28%), Zn (10-26%) and Cu (6-31%) concentrations in NPK and PSC-treated plants. Also, NPK (enriched with Se) significantly elevated seed Se concentration and use efficiency (SeUE) in all plants. Interestingly, PSC addition increased, although not significant, seed Se concentration and SeUE in faba bean and wheat. But no such effect was observed in white lupin. Overall, the results suggest that substitution of half-dose of NPK fertilizer with pig slurry compost is a promising alternative of chemical fertilizer for improved biomass yield and seed micronutrients (Zn, Fe and Cu) concentration in sustainable intensifications.
  • Gelman, Valeria (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The increased rates of population growth and urbanization worldwide raises the question of food security and self-reliance in cities. In view of this situation, in recent years there has been a re-emergence of urban agriculture in its traditional form and in new variations, such as on urban rooftops. A number of rooftop urban farms exist in the world; however, very few studies have been done to establish the quality of crops they produce, specifically concerning the concentrations of contaminants. The main purpose of this study was to investigate levels of contamination in edible plants grown on urban rooftops. I determined concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and trace metals in the biomass of three types of horticultural crops grown in the city of Helsinki, Finland. Lettuce, radish and peas were planted on five rooftops in various areas of Helsinki and control samples were acquired from local food stores and markets. Both groups of crops were analyzed for concentrations of 11 trace elements using the Elan 6000 ICP-MS and 16 PAHs using Shimadzu GC-MS-QP2010 Ultra system with the AOC-20i /AOC-20s autosampler. Additionally, lettuce and pea samples from the roofs were analyzed washed and unwashed to establish levels of particulate contamination on the surface of plants that can be mechanically removed through washing. Results obtained suggest that concentrations of PAHs and trace metals in rooftop vegetables in Helsinki are very low and the differences in their concentrations compared to control (store) samples are insignificant. This demonstrates that the consumption of vegetables produced in uncontaminated soil on urban roofs in Helsinki is safe. All samples showed concentrations well below the safety limits for heavy metals and PAHs established in the European Union (EC, 2006). Finally, there was a difference in concentration of PAHs and trace metals between washed and unwashed samples, however most of the results did not show statistical significance.
  • Sokol, Ella V.; Deviatiiarova, Anna S.; Kokh, Svetlana N.; Reutsky, Vadim N.; Abersteiner, Adam; Philippova, Kseniya A.; Artemyev, Dmitry A. (2021)
    Marly limestones from the Lower Silurian sedimentary units of the Tunguska basin (East Siberia, Russia) underwent metamorphism along the contact with the Early Triassic Kochumdek trap intrusion. At
  • Ordax Sommer, Nicolás (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Trace element analysis is a useful tool for the study of migration and migratory connectivity in birds. Trace elements are present in the environment and, through the food chain, can be incorporated into tissues such as growing feathers. Since the concentrations of elements remain stable after the feather has stopped growing, and trace element abundances can vary at very small geographical scales, the concentration of trace elements in feathers can provide information on the location where a feather was moulted. Trace element analysis is still rarely used and there are important gaps in our understanding of how trace elements can vary at different organizational levels such as within a feather, between individuals or even between species. It is also not clear if large-scale geographical patterns can be detected by the method, as trace element concentrations can vary a lot even at small scales, which could make it impossible to see larger-scale patterns. To address that, my objectives were (1) analysing the variability of trace element concentrations within feathers, between individuals and between species and (2) determining whether trace element levels differed in feathers grown in Africa compared to feathers grown in Europe. This would shed insight on the suitability of trace element analysis for the study of migration and migratory connectivity. I analysed the concentration of 18 trace elements in the rachis of feathers from willow warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) and barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) collected in Finland. I plucked three belly feathers from willow warblers collected in spring, whose feathers had grown in Africa. These feathers were used to analyse variability of trace element concentrations within feathers and between individuals. They were also compared to feathers plucked from barn swallows collected in spring (two feathers per bird) to analyse variability between the feathers of two species that winter in the same region. Finally, African-grown feathers of willow warblers were compared to European-grown feathers of willow warblers collected in autumn (two feathers per bird) to look for differences in trace element concentrations in feathers grown on two different continents. Trace element concentrations were analysed using Laser-Ablation Inductively-Coupled-Plasma Mass-Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), which allowed to measure concentration at hundreds to thousands of points along the feather rachis. The concentration of each of the 18 elements was used as the response variable in linear mixed models (LMM). To model variation in concentration within the feather I used location along the feather rachis as the explanatory variable and explored how well it predicted concentration of each element. To compare variation between feathers and individuals I fit models including and excluding the feather and individual that each measurement belonged to as random effects and compared them using AIC. To compare between willow warbler and barn swallow feathers grown in Africa I included species identity as the explanatory variable and looked at how the concentration of the 18 elements differed between them. Finally, I followed the same approach to compare willow warbler feathers moulted in Africa and in Europe. For most elements there was little variation along the feather rachis, with concentration remaining stable from feather base to tip. Zn and S showed an increase in concentration starting at the feather base until the central part of the feather and then remained constant toward the tip. Feathers belonging to the same individual showed mostly similar trace element concentrations, although there were exceptions and differences between feathers of different willow warbler individuals were also little. 10 out of 18 elements showed significant differences in feathers of willow warblers and barn swallows grown in Africa. Eight of those elements were more abundant in willow warbler feathers, while only two were more abundant in barn swallow feathers.12 out of 18 elements showed significant differences between their level in African-grown feathers and European-grown feathers. Of those, 10 elements showed higher levels in African-grown feathers, while only two were higher in European-grown feathers. My results suggest that trace elements can show variation at different organizational levels. Variability within feathers was important in at least two elements, which could be caused by physiological processes. This means that when designing sample collection for trace element analysis, unless we know that an element does not vary along a feather, it is important to consider which part of feathers we are sampling. Variability between feathers and individuals was lower than within feather variability, but still significant. Future studies should account for possible within and between individual differences in their design. Differences between barn swallows and willow warblers were large, which was expected based on the literature. It is still unknown what drives these differences between species: some explanations suggested have been physiological and dietary differences or differences in their habitats. I also found clear differences between feathers of willow warblers grown in Europe and Africa. While the exact cause is still not known, this means that at least in willow warbler feathers it is possible to study large scale geographical patterns by trace element analysis. LA-ICP-MS has potential to be a powerful tool to study migration and migratory connectivity in birds. It allows to detect variation in trace elements at continental scales while also allowing to control for different levels of variability in the study design. I encourage researchers to adopt its use in their research.
  • Raunemaa, T.; Jartti, P.; Hautojärvi, A.; Lindfors, V.; Laurén, J.; Räisänen, J. (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1979)