Articles | Volume 18, issue 23
Research article
09 Dec 2021
Research article |  | 09 Dec 2021

Mercury accumulation in leaves of different plant types – the significance of tissue age and specific leaf area

Håkan Pleijel, Jenny Klingberg, Michelle Nerentorp, Malin C. Broberg, Brigitte Nyirambangutse, John Munthe, and Göran Wallin

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Cited articles

Assad, M., Parelle, J., Cazaux, D., Gimbert, F., Chalot, M., and Tatit-Froux, F.: Mercury uptake into poplar leaves, Chemosphere, 146, 1–7,, 2016. 
Barghigiani, C., Ristori, T., and Bauleo, R.: Pinus as an atmospheric Hg biomonitor, Environ. Technol., 12, 1175–1181,, 1991. 
Bertolotti, G. and Gialanella, S.: Review: use of conifer needles as passive samplers of inorganic pollutants in air quality monitoring, Anal. Methods, 6, 6208–6222,, 2014. 
Bishop, K., Shanley, J. B., Riscassi, A., de Wit, H. A., Eklöf, K., Meng, B., Mitchell, C., Osterwalder, S., Schuster, P. F., Webster, J., and Zhu, W.: Recent advances in understanding and measurement of mercury in the environment: Terrestrial Hg cycling, Sci. Total Environ., 721, 137647,, 2020. 
Browne, C. L. and Fang, S. C.: Uptake of mercury vapor by wheat, Plant Physiol., 61, 430–433, 1978. 
Short summary
Mercury is a problematic metal in the environment. It is crucial to understand the Hg circulation in ecosystems. We explored the mercury concentration in foliage from a diverse set of plants, locations and sampling periods to study the accumulation of Hg in leaves–needles over time. Mercury was always higher in older tissue: in broadleaved trees, conifers and wheat. Specific leaf area, the leaf area per unit leaf mass, turned out to be critical for Hg accumulation in leaves–needles.
Final-revised paper