Distribution and sources of bioaccumulative air pollutants at Mezquital Valley, Mexico, as reflected by the atmospheric plant Tillandsia recurvata L

A. Zambrano García, C. Medina Coyotzin, A. Rojas Amaro, D. López Veneroni, L. Chang Martínez, G. Sosa Iglesias
2009 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics  
Mezquital Valley (MV), a Mexican wastewaterbased agricultural and industrial region, is a "hot spot" of regulated air pollutants emissions, but the concurrent unregulated ones, like hazardous metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), remain undocumented. A biomonitoring survey with the epiphytic Tillandsia recurvata was conducted there to detect spatial patterns and potential sources of 20 airborne elements and 15 PAH. The natural δ 13 C and δ 15 N ratios of this plant helped in source
more » ... nt helped in source identification. The regional mean concentration of most elements was two (Cr) to over 40 times (Ni, Pb, V) higher than reported for Tillandsia in other countries. Eleven elements, pyrene and chrysene had 18-214% higher mean concentration at the industrial south than at the agricultural north of MV. The total quantified PAH (mean, 572 ng g −1 ; range, 143-2568) were composed by medium (65%, phenanthrene to chrysene), low (28%, naphthalene to fluorene) and high molecular weight compounds (7%, Benzo(b)fluoranthene to indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene). The δ 13 C (mean, −14.6‰; range, −15.7‰ to −13.7‰) was consistently lower than −15‰ near the major petroleum combustion sources. The δ 15 N (mean, −3.0‰; range, −9.9‰ to 3.3‰) varied from positive at agriculture/industrial areas to negative at rural sites. Factor analysis provided a five-factor solution for 74% of the data variance: 1) crustal rocks, 39.5%
doi:10.5194/acp-9-6479-2009 fatcat:mldgpxpn3bbcboappgub5jjx2y