The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as an indicator of anthropogenic toxic metal pollution of environment
Marek Ligocki , Zofia Tarasewicz, Aneta Zygmunt, Mieczysław Aniśko
Department of Poultry and Ornamental Birds Breeding, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Doktora Judyma 20, 71-460 Szczecin, Poland
- Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 10(4), 2011, 73‒82
Abstract. The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a widely distributed plant, not only geographically but also in terms of diverse, often extremely polluted habitats. It is therefore potentially an ideal plant to study accumulation of anthropogenic pollution. The aim of the study was to determine the suitability of common dandelion to assess the environmental contamination of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Ti, Zn, V. The plants were collected from sites initially identified as significantly polluted as well as habitats presumably hardly contaminated. Analyses were made using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES) in argon, following decomposition of the organic matrix of samples using a mixture of 65% HNO3 and 30% H2O2 in a microwave digestion system. Elevated levels of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni and Ti were found both in the leaves and roots of dandelion collected from more polluted sites. The results show that the common dandelion can be a good bio-indicator of environmental contamination for these elements. For the other studied metals, the results were not so unequivocal. In the case of Cd, Cr, Mn, and Ni, statistically significant correlation was found in the concentrations of these elements between the dry matter of leaves and roots.
Keywords: common dandelion, environment, leaves, metals, roots