Uptake, translocation and fate of trichloroacetic acid in a Norway spruce/soil system

P. Schröder, M. Matucha, S. T. Forczek, H. Uhlířová, K. Fuksová, J. Albrechtová

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a secondary atmospheric pollutant formed by photooxidation of chlorinated solvents in the troposphere - it has, however, recently been ranked among natural organohalogens. Its herbicidal properties might be one of the factors adversely affecting forest health. TCA accumulates rapidly in conifer needles and influences the detoxification capacity in the trees. The aim of the investigations - a survey of which is briefly given here - was to elucidate the uptake, distribution and fate of TCA in Norway spruce. For this purpose young nursery-grown plants of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) were exposed to [1,2-14C]TCA and the fate of the compound was followed in needles, wood, roots, soil and air with appropriate radio-indicator methods. As shown by radioactivity monitoring, the uptake of TCA from soil by roots proceeded most rapidly into current needles at the beginning of the TCA treatment and was redistributed at later dates so that TCA content in older needles increased. The only product of TCA metabolism/biodegradation found in the plant/soil-system was CO2 (and corresponding assimilates). TCA biodegradation in soil depends on TCA concentration, soil humidity and other factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-442
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradation
  • Chlorinated solvents
  • Coniferous forest injury
  • Metabolism of trichloroacetic acid
  • Picea abies (L. Karst)
  • Secondary air pollutants


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