Characteristics and Risk of Forest Soil Heavy Metal Pollution in Western Guangdong Province, China
West Guangdong is an important ecological barrier in Guangdong province, so understanding the spatial patterns and sources of heavy metal pollution of forest soil in this region is of great significance for ecological protection. In this study, the concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, and Ni) in forest soil were determined. Geostatistics, single-factor pollution index (PI), potential ecological risk index (RI), principal component analysis (PCA), and Pearson's correlation analysis
... e used to evaluate and analyze the characteristics of heavy metal pollution of forest soil. The results showed that the average concentration did not exceed the critical value. Cd, Pb, and Cu were enriched in southwest Xinxing County, while Zn and Ni were enriched in most areas of the Yunan and Yuncheng districts. Two groups of heavy metals from different sources were identified by PCA and a correlation analysis. Cd, Pb, and Cu in their respective enrichment areas were mainly from marble and cement production, whereas Zn and Ni were primarily from transportation and chemical fertilizer. Most of the study area was safe or slightly polluted while the heavy metal-enriched areas were moderately to severely polluted. The potential ecological risk was at a lower level in the study area but moderate in southwest Xinxing County. In summary, human factors impact the spatial patterns and ecological risks of heavy metals in forest soil. This study provides a scientific basis for forest soil pollution control and ecological protection.