Heavy Metals Biomonitoring by Plants Grown in an Industrial Area of Isfahan’ Mobarakeh Steel Company



Biomonitoring is the one of the cost-effective and simple ways for investigation of environmental quality and refers to process which in that using living organisms or part of them can obtain quantitative information on environmental quality. Industrial activities causes to entrance considerable amount of heavy metals to the atmosphere and use of boimonitoring potential of plants growing in the nearby zone of industrial areas can be useful. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of monitoring atmospheric pollution with Iron, Nickel and Lead in the vicinity of Mobarakeh Steel Company as an industrial zone with using biomonitoring potential in plants. For this reason, three trees (Cupressus arizonica, Pinus eldarica and Quercus branatii) and three shrubs (Nerium oleander, Berberis vulgaris and Thuja orientalis) were selected and concentration of these metals were measured in soils and aboveground plant parts (leaves and bark) by ICP-AES. In studied soils, a little concentration of these metals were available for plants due to high pH value(8.02), presence of more than 60 % CaCO3 and 0.5 % organic matter, while Fe and Ni concentration in aboveground plant parts states atmospheric pollution with these metals. In most cases, trees better than the shrubs and evergreen plants better than the deciduous ones indicated heavy metal contamination and bark of these plants had more ability. The highest concentration of Fe and Ni was observed in leaves of Cupressus and bark of Pinus which indicated significant differences with all plants for Fe and in most plants for Ni. Pb content in plants was lower than pollution limit of this element. Results also indicated that Nerium was not a good indicator for Fe monitoring in this area.