Changes in the species composition and a decrease in species diversity and total plant biomass along the gradient of soil pollution with heavy metals have been shown. Data on the concentrations of chemical elements (Zn, Cu, Cd, Pb, Co, Ni, Mn, Cr, and Fe) in the aboveground organs of herbaceous plants and the biomass of each species make it possible to estimate the role of higher producers in the incorporation of chemical elements into biogenic cycles in background zones and under conditions of chemical pollution. Plants of the composite family (Asteraceae) play the main role in accumulation of chemical elements. The results obtained indicate that natural ecosystems have mechanisms limiting excessive accumulation of chemical elements into the aboveground plant biomass.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 10, 2007
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