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Arsenic release from dump soils in historical mining sites poses the environmental risk. Decomposing forest litter can affect mobilization of As and other toxic elements, change their speciation in pore water and influence the toxicity to biota. This study examined the chemistry and ecotoxicity of pore water acquired from four soils that developed on the dumps in former As mining sites, in the presence and absence of forest litter collected from beech and spruce stands. Soils contained 1540-19600 mg/kg of As. Pore water was collected after 2, 7, 21 and 90 days of incubation, using MacroRhizon suction samplers. Its chemical analysis involved determination of pH, the concentrations of As, Cu and Pb (the elements with high enrichment factor Igeo>3), as well as metals considered most mobile: Cd, Zn and Mn. Ecotoxicity of pore water was examined in three bioassays: Microtox, MARA and Phytotox with Sinapis alba as test plant. The release of As, unlike heavy metals, was particularly intensive from the soils with neutral and alkaline pH. The concentrations of toxic elements in pore water were in broad ranges, up to dozens mg/L. The results of Phytotox had a poor precision, but their means correlated well with As concentrations in pore water, which indicates that As made a crucial factor of phytotoxicity. The outcomes of Microtox bioassay indicated poorer relationships between As concentrations and toxicity, and other factors contributed to ecotoxicity at very low and very high As concentrations. The highest toxicity was recorded from the soils treated with forest litter. MARA turned out to be not sensitive enough to give reproducible results in experimental conditions. The PCA analysis confirmed that the growth of microbes in MARA bioassay was poorly dependent on As and metals in pore water except for a yeast Pichia anomala (No 11). The results let us conclude that the bioassays Phytotox and Microtox can provide useful information on ecotoxicity of pore water in soils that develop on As-rich dumps whereas applicability of MARA in those conditions proved limited.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
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A shiny gray element with atomic symbol As, atomic number 33, and atomic weight 75. It occurs throughout the universe, mostly in the form of metallic arsenides. Most forms are toxic. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985), arsenic and certain arsenic compounds have been listed as known carcinogens. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)
A genus of gram-positive, spherical bacteria found in soils and fresh water, and frequently on the skin of man and other animals.
Proteins involved in the process of transporting molecules in and out the cell nucleus. Included here are: NUCLEOPORINS, which are membrane proteins that form the NUCLEAR PORE COMPLEX; KARYOPHERINS, which carry molecules through the nuclear pore complex; and proteins that play a direct role in the transport of karyopherin complexes through the nuclear pore complex.
A genus of aerobic, chemolithotrophic, coccoid ARCHAEA whose organisms are thermoacidophilic. Its cells are highly irregular in shape, often lobed, but occasionally spherical. It has worldwide distribution with organisms isolated from hot acidic soils and water. Sulfur is used as an energy source.
An opening through the NUCLEAR ENVELOPE formed by the nuclear pore complex which transports nuclear proteins or RNA into or out of the CELL NUCLEUS and which, under some conditions, acts as an ion channel.