Comparison of chemical composition of two co-occurring chasmophytes, Asplenium ruta-muraria L. (Pteridophyta) and Cymbalaria muralis Gaer., Mey. & Scher. (Spermatophyta) from habitats differing in air pollution
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Concentrations of the elements N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, S, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cd, Pb, Co and Cr were measured in two co-occurring wall-fissure plants, fern A. ruta-muraria and seed plant C. muralis, collected at 14 sites in urban, urban-rural and rural areas in Lower Silesia (SW Poland). Airborne particulate matter < 10 μm (PM10) was used as indicators of metal contamination at the site where they were growing. Principal component analysis showed that in contrast to C. muralis, A. ruta-muraria from urban sites contained higher levels of Ca than those from urban-rural and rural sites. However, A. ruta-muraria from urban sites contained lower levels of K than those from urban-rural and rural sites. The Zn and Cd concentrations both in A. ruta-muraria and C. muralis were higher in urban sites, in the direct vicinity of the river, than those at other sites in the study area. PM10 influenced some features of foliar elemental composition of the two species in different ways. In A. ruta-muraria, Ca, Zn and Cd increased in proportion to PM10, while levels of K decreased and in C. muralis, Cd increased in proportion to PM10, while levels of Ca and Cr decreased.
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