Impact of metallurgical activities on the content of trace elements in the spatial soil and plant parts of Rubus fruticosus L.†
The concentrations of the trace elements (TEs), Cu, Zn, Pb, As, Cd, Ni, were determined in parts of Rubus fruticosus L. and in topsoil, collected from eight different locations around the copper smelter in Bor, Serbia. Extremely high concentrations of Cu were determined in the soil and in R. fruticosus L., and for arsenic at some locations. The enrichment factors for TEs in soil showed enrichment with Cu, Zn, Pb, and As among which extremely high values were determined for Cu (EFsoil = 8.5–126.1) and As (EFsoil = 6.6–44.4). The enrichment factors for the parts of R. fruticosus L. showed enrichment with all TEs, except for nickel. The most extreme enrichment was found to occur in roots and stems for Cu (EFplant = 56.2 and 51.1) and leaves for Pb (EFplant = 45.68). The mean values of the three ratios of concentrations between plant parts for all TEs indicated pollution via the atmosphere while leaves appeared to be the best indicators for this kind of pollution. Numerous and very strong Pearson's correlations between TEs in the R. fruticosus L. parts confirmed these results. Principal Component Analysis showed that the major pollution source is the copper smelter that contaminates vegetation through soil and air.