Investigating Jacaranda mimosifolia tree as biomonitor of atmospheric trace metals

J. O. Olowoyo, E. Van Heerden, J. L. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Studies on the use of tree bark as biomonitors for environmental pollutants are still very scarce. We evaluated the reliability of using Jacaranda mimosifolia, a common tree in Tshwane City of South Africa, as a suitable biomonitor of atmospheric trace metals. Bark samples were collected from ten different locations during two sampling periods. The concentrations of the metals were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The concentrations of the metals were 33.2-1,795 μg/g (Pb), 21.4-210 μg/g (Cu), 68.4-490 μg/g (Zn), 30.6-2,916 μg/g (Cr), 0.12-1.34 μg/g (Cd), and 6.04-68.0 μg/g (V), respectively. The differences obtained for the results from different sites were significant (p< 0.05). A significant difference was also observed between the two sampling periods. The trace metals concentrations suggested that automobile emissions are a major source of these metals. The study also confirms the suitability of J. mimosifolia as a biomonitor of atmospheric deposition of these metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-443
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Jacaranda mimosifolia
  • Pollution
  • Trace metals


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