ABSTRACT: Arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), and bismuth (Bi) are metalloids that share similar chemical properties, the objective of this study was to characterize the uptake and accumulation of these metalloids by plants colonized on heavy contaminated sites in an old Sb mine. Sixty-five plant samples from seven species as well as the associated soil samples were collected at ten sites of Xikuangshan (XKS), Hunan province, China. Concentrations of As, Sb, and Bi in plants and soils were measured. As, Sb, and Bi were found to be evidently elevated due to the long history and intensive mining and smelting activities; the respective ranges for the levels of As, Sb, and Bi at the sites were 40.02-400.2 mg kg(-1) As, 610-54,221 mg kg(-1) Sb, and n.d. to 1,672 mg kg(-1) Bi. No correlation was found between As and Sb at the sites, while Bi was found to be positively correlated with As whereas negative with Sb at the sites. In general, the contents in the plants in XKS were in the order of As > Sb > Bi, and the contents of As was positively correlated with Sb and Bi in plants. The highest contents of As and Sb recorded was 607.8 mg kg(-1) As in Pteris vittata and 90.98 mg kg(-1) Sb in Hippochcaete ramosissima, while the highest Bi content as 2.877 mg kg(-1) Bi was measured in Buddleja davidii. Bioconcentration factors defined as the ratios of metalloids in shoots of plants to those in soils for various plants were lower than 1. The results showed plants colonized at the heavy contaminated sites in XKS had great tolerance to As, Sb, and Bi, and demonstrated similarities in plant uptake and accumulation of these three elements.
Biological trace element research 03/2011; 144(1-3):1150-8. · 1.92 Impact Factor