Trace metals adsorbed to particulate matter are supposed to be increasingly incorporated into the remnants of the Atlantic Forest next to urban, industrial, agricultural and mining sources of air pollution, especially in the Southeastern Brazil. They can be retained on tree canopies through dry and wet deposition and incorporated directly into the soil by deposition or indirectly by litterfall and decomposition. Some native tree species are better suited than others to offer a realistic overview of metal accumulation in a forest ecosystem due to their higher accumulating capacity within or on their leaf tissues. To assess the capacity of trees in different successional stages to accumulate metals, we conducted a passive biomonitoring with pioneer (P) and non-pioneer (NP) species, soil and litter in two fragments of rain forest located in São Paulo – Brazil (PP-peri-urban) and (PEFI-urban). We sampled leaves of trees, soil and litter in both sites, during the winter of 2015, and analyzed the concentrations of metals by ICP-OES. In general, NP species have higher leaf concentrations of most of the elements and higher mobility ratios for Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn were higher in NP plants than in P species in both sites. Mn concentrations were stocked in litter and could be associated to the low bioavailability of this element caused by the effect of the metals to the decomposing organisms. These results allowed us to conclude that NP species were more susceptible to the metal contamination, since the concentrations of the elements studied were higher than in P species. Even though PP site is located far from the urban emissions, the deposition of metals also impacts the site.
Dr. Ricardo Keiichi Nakazato is graduated in Biological Sciences from Universidade São Judas (2008), Ph.D. in Plant Biodiversity and Environment from São Paulo Institute of Botany (2014), post-doctorate fellow in Plant Biodiversity from Instituto de Botânica (2016), post-doctorate fellow in progress, by the Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais (2021), specialization in Sustainability and Environment by the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (tbd). He is dedicated to researching the impact of heavy metals and other atmospheric pollutants on native species of the Atlantic Forest by biomonitoring.