ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, vol.49, no.4, pp.2105-2114, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
Several persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in needle, branch, bark, and tree ring samples in pine samples collected at 27 sites (21 industrial, 6 background) in Aliaga industrial region in Turkey. Soil, litter, and air samples were also collected to investigate the relationships between the air and soil, litter, and tree components. Concentrations decreased with distance from the sources and the lowest ones were measured at background sites. The spatial distribution of POPs indicated that the major sources in the region are the iron-steel, ship-breaking, petrochemical plants and the petroleum refinery. Significant correlations between the air concentrations and, soil, litter, and tree components indicated the interaction of these compartments with air. Observed increasing trends of POPs in the tree-ring samples were representative for the variations in anthropogenic emissions and resulting atmospheric concentrations in Aliaga region. These results indicated that tree components, litter and soil could be used to determine the spatial variations while tree rings could be used to investigate the historical trends of atmospheric POPs in a region. POP amounts (mg/ha) stored in different tree components, litter, and soil were also inventoried. Among the tree components, generally, the highest amounts were stored in the stem followed by needles. For the overall inventory, the highest amounts were stored in soil for PCNs, PBDEs, and PCBs while highest PAH amounts were stored in trees, indicating that in addition to soil, vegetation is also an important reservoir for POPs.