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Distribution of chemical elements in surface waters from the Strumica River Basin, North Macedonia
Katerina Trajanova, Robert Šajn, Trajče Stafilov, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: In this work, the distribution of chemical elements in samples of surface water from the Strumica River Basin, North Macedonia, was studied. The water samples were collected from a total of twelve sites. In addition to the Strumica River, samples were collected from its tributaries: Bansko, Dabile, Turija, Vodoča, Radoviška, and Injevska. The determination of the concentration of 21 elements (Ag, Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Sr, V, and Zn) was performed by inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). All detailed information on the studied items was statistically processed using Stat Soft, 11.0 software. Using the obtained data on the concentration of the studied elements, descriptive statistical analysis of the values ​​for the concentration of the elements was performed. A map of spatial distribution was obtained for each element. The obtained results show that the concentrations of the studied elements in the surface water samples are relatively low and the distribution of most of the elements follows the lithology of the study area.
Keywords: rivers, surface water, heavy metals, Strumica River Basin, North Macedonia
Published in DiRROS: 20.07.2023; Views: 207; Downloads: 64
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Plants play a crucial role in the development of soil fungal communities in the remediated substrate after EDTA washing of metal-contaminated soils
Irena Maček, Sara Pintarič, Nataša Šibanc, Tatjana Rajniš, Damjana Kastelec, Domen Leštan, Marjetka Suhadolc, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: In this study, we investigated the importance of plant cover for secondary succession and soil fungal community development in remediated substrates after EDTA washing of metal-contaminated soils. The abundance of the total fungal community, determined by ITS fungal marker genes (Internal Transcribed Spacer region), and root colonisation by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi were monitored in two types of soil material (calcareous and acidic) sown with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and without plant cover (bulk soil). Four months after the start of the experiment, the abundance of ITS genes in the soil clearly showed that the presence of plants was the main factor affecting the total fungal community, which increased in the rhizosphere soil in most treatments, while it remained at a low level in the bulk soil (without plants). Interestingly, the addition of environmental inoculum, i.e., rhizosphere soil from a semi-natural meadow, did not have a positive effect on the abundance of the total fungal community. While fungal ITS genes were detected in soils at the end of the first growing season, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) structures were scarce in Lolium roots in all treatments throughout the first season. However, in the second season, more than a year after the start of the experiment, AM fungal colonisation was detected in Lolium roots in virtually all treatments, with the frequency of colonised root length ranging from 30% to >75% in some treatments, the latter also in remediated soil. This study demonstrates the importance of plants and rhizosphere in the development and secondary succession of fungal communities in soil, which has important implications for the revitalisation of remediated soils and regenerative agriculture.
Keywords: heavy metals, arbuscular mycorrhiza, remediation, revitalisation, secondary succession, biodiversity, qPCR, toxic metals pollution
Published in DiRROS: 19.09.2022; Views: 421; Downloads: 182
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Biomonitoring and assessment of toxic element contamination in floodplain sediments and soils using fluorescein diacetate (FDA) enzymatic activity measurements: evaluation of possibilities and limitations through the case study of the Drava River floodplain
Péter Szabó, Gyozo Jordan, Tamás Kocsis, Katalin Posta, Levente Kardos, Robert Šajn, Jasminka Alijagić, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The EU Water Framework Directive requires the monitoring and evaluation of surface water sediment quality based on the assessment of risk posed by contamination on the biotic receptors. Floodplain sediments are important receptors of potentially toxic element (PTE) contamination from the upstream catchment areas, and floodplains host climate-sensitive riverine ecosystems and fertile agricultural areas at the same time. This study investigates the effect of PTE contamination on microbial communities in floodplain sediments and soils using the fast, inexpensive and reliable fluorescein diacetate (FDA) method in order to estimate its applicability for sediment quality monitoring and preliminary toxicity-based risk assessment. Sediment and soil samples were collected from the actively flooded alluvial plain and the river terrace areas along a 130-km stretch of the large Drava River floodplain known to be widely contaminated by historical mining, smelting and the associated industry in the upstream Alpine region. Results of detailed data analysis show that the total microbial activity represented by the measured FDA values is related to PTE (As, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb) concentrations, but this relationship shows significant heterogeneity and depends on the spatial location and on the soil properties such as organic matter content, dissolved salt and nutrient content, and it is specific to the toxic elements. Results show that some microbe species appear to be able to adapt to the elevated PTE concentrations in toxic soil micro-environments, over time. Despite the observed heterogeneity of microbial activity, the results revealed a breakpoint in the FDA dataset around the FDA = 3 FC (fluorescein concentration) value suggesting that microbial activity is controlled by thresholds.
Keywords: potentially toxic elements, fluorescein diacetate activity, heavy metals, contamination, biological activity
Published in DiRROS: 25.08.2022; Views: 505; Downloads: 154
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Elemental associations in stream and alluvial sediments of the Savinja and Voglajna Rivers (Slovenia, EU) as a result of natural processes and anthropogenic activities
Gorazd Žibret, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Stream and alluvial sediments of the Savinja and Voglajna rivers were sampled, and sediment fractions <0.063 and 0.063–0.125 mm were analyzed on the content of 60 of the main and trace elements. The objective was to determine elemental associations and identify possible sources of these associations. Differences of Al/Ti oxides ratio (9.7–26) can be attributed to the variations in the source rocks, while the K/Al oxides ratio indicates erosional or depositional river regime and variation in source rocks. One anthropogenic and three natural associations of elements were identified. The anthropogenic association (Ag, In, Sb, Cu, As, Zn, Pb, Cd, Bi, Mo and Sn) is linked to historic Zn smelting in the Celje area, and the subsequent erosion of the material from inadequately managed pyrometallurgical waste deposit. The second association (Li, Sc, Al, V, Cs and Ga) is linked to clay minerals, the third one (Mg, Ca and Te) to carbonate rocks, and the fourth one (Hf, Zr) to the heavy mineral fraction.
Keywords: heavy metals, smelting, weathering, erosion, deposition, farming, waste
Published in DiRROS: 06.07.2022; Views: 438; Downloads: 317
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Advanced materials research for a green future
Bojan Podgornik, 2021, professional article

Keywords: advanced materials, research, metals, environment
Published in DiRROS: 06.05.2022; Views: 674; Downloads: 416
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The environmental impact of historical Pb-Zn mining waste deposits in Slovenia
Miloš Miler, Špela Bavec, Mateja Gosar, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Mining waste deposits (MWDs) represent significant and constant pollution source for the environment worldwide, thus it is very important to identify and diminish their environmental impacts. The aim of this study was to determine long-term environmental impacts and their temporal variations of MWDs in Pb–Zn mining districts in Slovenia and assess stability of potentially harmful element (PHE)-bearing phases in stream water. The results showed that investigated MWDs are important source of PHEs in stream sediments and that PHEs mostly occur as fine-grained and liberated PHE-bearing ore minerals. MWDs have generally stronger impact on sediments of smaller streams draining MWDs and main streams close to their confluences, however, fine-grained PHE-bearing material is transported along major watercourses over long distances causing regional pollution. Main ore minerals are mostly soluble in stream water. However, measured PHE leaching potential of MWDs is negligible. PHE levels in stream waters are thus low, demonstrating that drainage of MWDs predominantly contributes to PHE pollution in solid particulate form. Possible long-term remediation solution that would reduce environmental impact is recovery of metals from fine grain size fractions of MWDs, which could become an effective practice in sustainable management of historical MWDs. However, further studies of MWDs’ secondary resource potential, processing technology and evaluation of environmental aspects of extraction are needed.
Keywords: metals, stream sediment, stream water, characterisation, mineral solubility
Published in DiRROS: 03.03.2022; Views: 548; Downloads: 308
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Trace elements and nitrogen content in naturally growing moss Hypnum cupressiforme in urban and peri-urban forests of the Municipality of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
S. Berisha, Mitja Skudnik, Urša Vilhar, M. Saboljević, Saša Zavadlav, Zvonka Jeran, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: We monitored trace metals and nitrogen using naturally growing moss Hypnum cupressiforme Hedw. in urban and peri-urban forests of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. The aim of this study was to explore the differences in atmospheric deposition of trace metals and nitrogen between urban and peri-urban forests. Samples were collected at a total of 44 sites in urban forests (forests within the motorway ring road) and peri-urban forests (forests outside the motorway ring road). Mosses collected in urban forests showed increased trace metal concentrations compared to samples collected from peri-urban forests. Higher values were significant for As, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Tl and V. Within the motorway ring road, the notable differences in element concentrations between the two urban forests were significant for Cr, Ni and Mo. Factor analysis showed three groups of elements, highlighting the contribution of traffic emissions, individual heating appliances and the resuspension of contaminated soils and dust as the main sources of trace elements in urban forests.
Keywords: heavy metals, biomonitoring, Ljubljana, ICP-MS, elemental analysis, factor analysis, traffic emissions
Published in DiRROS: 12.07.2017; Views: 2957; Downloads: 1066
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