Soil element composition derives from parent material disaggregation during pedogenesis and weathering processes but also by anthropogenic inputs. Elements are present in soils in different chemical forms that affect their availability and mobility. The aim of the study was to evaluate the main derivation, natural or anthropogenic, of elements in the soils of the Vesuvius National Park (a natural environment strongly affected by human impacts). Besides, the effects of age of the lava from which soils derive, different vegetation covers, traffic fluxes along the two roads connecting the Vesuvius crater and altitudes of the sites on the pseudo-total element concentrations and on their contents in different fraction of soil were investigated. To reach the aims, BCR (Bureau Commun de Référence) sequential extraction was performed in order to determine the distribution of elements into: acid-soluble, reducible, oxidizable and residual fractions. The relationship between the main environmental media and distribution of elements was discussed using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS). The findings showed that, with the exception of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn that would seem to derive also from human activities, the other investigated elements (Al, As, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, La, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Si, Ti, V, W and Zn) mainly had a natural derivation. Among the investigated elements, only Cd could represent a potential high risk for the studied andosols. The highest element accumulations in the soils at low altitude could be attributable to an integrated effect of plant cover, vicinity of downtowns and traffic flux. The acid-soluble fraction of elements appeared more linked to lava age; the reducible and oxidizable ones to plant cover; the residual one to the chemical composition of the parent material that gave origin to the soils.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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