Altitudinal and chiral signature of persistent organochlorine pesticides in air, soil, and spruce needles (Picea abies) of the alps

Heqing Shen, Bernhard Henkelmann, Walkiria Levy, Adam Zsolnay, Peter Weiss, Gert Jakobi, Manfred Kirchner, Wolfgang Moche, Katharina Braun, Karl Werner Schramm

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33 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study investigated the distribution, transportation, and biodegradation of the selected chiral persistent orga-nochlorine pesticides (OCP) in the Alps. In the complex environment, we found the movement and fate of OCP could be defined by many factors. Taking HCE as an example, below the timberline its accumulation from air into SPMD increased with altitude and seasonally changed, but the trends reversed above the timberline. In soil, the tendency of HCE concentrations vs organic materials followed a sigmoid curve, and HCE concentration-altitude correlations are positive in central Alps but negative in southern Alps. The HCE enantiomeric ratios (ERs) in soil correlated to HCE isomers concentrations, the humus pH values, and the sampling site altitudes. HCE shift from humus to mineral soil can also be traced by ERs. The altitudinal and longitudinal trends in needles suggested that α-HCH has a more complex movement than HCE in Alps. In conclusion, altitude conducted condensation, plant canopies, organic material in soil, and geographic specific precipitations may affect OCP distributions and transportation, whereas altitude conducted temperature and soil pH could dictate their fate in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2450-2455
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2009

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