The usability of scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) as a biomonitor for traffic-originated heavy metal concentrations in Turkey

Aricak B., Çetin M., Erdem R., Sevik H., Cometen H.

Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, vol.29, no.2, pp.1051-1057, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.15244/pjoes/109244
  • Journal Name: Polish Journal of Environmental Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), Environment Index, Greenfile, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1051-1057
  • Keywords: Biomonitor, Heavy metal, Pinus sylvestris, Scotch pine, Traffic
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: No


Heavy metals are one of the most infamous air pollutants. They do not deteriorate easily in nature and they tend to bioaccumulate in nature. Because of their significance in terms of potential damage to human and environmental wellbeing, the monitoring of heavy metal pollution and identifying risk-prone regions is of great importance. Bioindicators are the most important determinants of the change in the concentration of heavy metals in the atmosphere. While plants play the biggest and most important role in reducing pollution in all of its types, they are also the ideal bioindicators. However, some plant species are better equipped to detect heavy metal accumulation than others. This study aims to determine the usability potential of Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) in monitoring traffic-based heavy metal concentrations. For this purpose, samples of Scotch pine individuals were collected from one of the busiest highways in Turkey (along the Ankara-Istanbul route) from refuges at roadsides and at distances of 3m, 10m, 30m, 50m, and 100m from the roadside. Some of the branches and needles of the samples were also subjected to washing processes and the changes of Ni, Cr and Zn concentrations were determined for these samples. The change of Ni, Cr and Zn concentrations depending on the distance to the road, washing conditions and organelle were evaluated separately. We determined that Scotch pine is a good biomonitor – especially for monitoring changes in Cr concentrations.