Spatial distribution, mobility and bioavailability of arsenic, lead, copper and zinc in low polluted forest ecosystem in North-western Mexico Article uri icon


  • A geochemical-environmental mapping was carried for a low polluted forest in North-western Mexico (Santiago Papasquiaro mining area), as part of the North American forests accounting for environmental behavior of arsenic (As), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) in soil and tree components (stem wood and aciculums). Spectroscopic and microscopic techniques along with standard protocols were used to determine the mineralogical phases containing these elements, and their corresponding spatial distributions in soil and forests and mobility. In soil, total As, Pb, Zn and Cu ranged from 4.9 to 98.3, 19.6 to 768.6, 19.6 to 407.1, and 1.6 to 63.8 mg kg−1, respectively. Ultrafine particles (<5–10 μm) of arsenopyrite and sphalerite (and complex Zn-Fe phase) were the main As and Zn-bearing phases determined by SEM-EDS, respectively. Complex Pb-Cu-Fe and Cu-O oxide-like phases were the only ones containing Pb and Cu, respectively. Mobility was low for Pb, Zn and Cu, whereas a significant mobility was assessed for As. Concentrations vs. depth profiles suggested progressive accumulations of As, Pb, Zn and Cu in top soil. Total As, Pb, Zn and Cu in pine stem wood varied from 11.5 to 184.5, 98.9 to 7359.8, 3242.7 to 22197.3, 689.2 to 7179.6 μg kg−1, respectively. The respective concentrations in the pine needles ranged from 50 to 624.2, 100 to 16353.1, 120 to 46440.9 and 720 to 7200 μg kg−1, indicating an active bioaccumulation of As, Pb, Zn and Cu. A prospective environmental behavior was discussed for As, Pb, Zn and Cu in the low-polluted forest. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

publication date

  • 2018-01-01