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Ingeniería, investigación y tecnología

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PUY-ALQUIZA, María Jesús et al. Study of the Distribution of Heavy Metals in the Atmosphere of the Guanajuato City: Use of Saxicolous Lichen Species as Bioindicators. Ing. invest. y tecnol. [online]. 2017, vol.18, n.1, pp.111-126. ISSN 1405-7743.

The atmospheric deposition of some heavy metals was investigated using saxicolous lichen species (Xanthoparmelia mexicana (Gyeln.) Hale, Xanthoparmelia tasmanica (Hook. f. & Taylor) Hale, Caloplaca aff. brouardii (B.deLesd.) Zahlbr, Caloplaca aff. ludificans Arup, and Aspicilia sp), samples were collected from three zones (rural, suburban and urban) along the Guanajuato city, during the months of October-November 2012, April, July, and October 2013 and January 2014. Lichen samples were analyzed using the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry technique. The concentrations of heavy metals in lichen samples from the Xanthoparmelia species ranged from (96.21 μg g -1) for lead (Pb), (95.10 μg g−1) for zinc (Zn), (58.40 μg g−1 )for vanadium (V), (105.15 μg g−1) for Chrome (Cr), and (48.93 μg g−1) for Niquel (Ni). Caloplaca species (92.42, μg g−1) for lead (Pb), (172.97 μg g−1 ) for Zinc (Zn), (53.51 μg g−1 ) for vanadium (V), (91.23 μg g−1 ) for copper (Cu), respectively, and Aspicilia sp (612.91μg g−1) for lead (Pb), (72.24 μg g−1 ) for zinc (Zn), (56.25 μg g−1) for vanadium (V), (18.24 μg g−1) for copper (Cu). The statistical significance of between Co-V, Ni-Cr, Ni-Co, Sn-Zn, Co-Cr, Zn-Th, Sn-Th and Co-Zn concentrations confirmed anthropogenic sources mainly due to emissions from vehicular traffic, fossil fuel combustion correlations, solid waste disposal and other local anthropogenic activities. Pollution indices were additionally calculated by heavy metals concentrations in order to use lichens in Guanajuato city as bioindicators of air pollution. The concentration of these metals was observed to be in higher range as maximum values of Pb, Zn, V, and Cu reported from the lichen samples for the suburban and urban zones in Guanajuato city. The accumulations of Ni and Cr from both zones are similar in concentration. The contamination factors or the pollution index factor and the pollution load index criteria revealed high levels of Be, Cu, Co, Zn, Pb, and Th in Caloplaca species and Aspicilia sp., while Xanthoparmelia species show higher values only in Be, Sb and Pb. The results revealed that the most sensitive lichens were Aspicilia sp., with the highest levels of Pb. The results obtained reveal important contributions towards understanding of heavy metal deposition patterns and provide baseline data that can be used for potential identification of areas at risk from atmospheric heavy metals contamination in the region. The use of saxicolous lichens provide a cost-effective approach for monitoring regional atmospheric heavy metal contamination and may be effectively used in large scale air pollution monitoring programmer.

Keywords : lichens; heavy metal pollution; indicator; Guanajuato city.

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