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Atmospheric Heavy Metal Deposition in Garhwal Hill Area (India): Estimation Based on Native Moss Analysis

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Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 94-111
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2007.07.0031
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Dinesh K. Saxena1, Shivom Singh 2, Kajal Srivastava2

  • 1 P. G. D. in Environmental Management, Department of Botany, Bareilly College, Bareilly-243005 (U. P.), India
  • 2 J. R. F. under the Project Funded by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India, (null), India


Atmospheric distribution of metals was evaluated throughout the Garhwal Hills region of Uttaranchal, India by analysis of native moss species, Rhodobryum giganteum and Hypnum cupressiforme. The performance of these two mosses as biomonitors was studied in relation to the accumulation of atmophile elements. The elements Cd, Zn, Cu and Pb were surveyed at 33 sampling sites by conducting a passive monitoring technique using these mosses. Sampling was carried out from March 2004 to February 2005 for three different seasons (summer, monsoon and winter) in four directions nearly equidistant from a control site (Chamba Forest) where the moss samples were originally collected. Bioaccumulative ability in these two mosses was evaluated statistically using Dunkun’s Multiple Range test. Results indicate that summer has a significantly higher concentration of the metals Zn, Pb, Cu, Cd than winter and monsoon. Similarly, significant distance and seasonal differences were calculated and are presented on contour maps. The novel aspect of this study is that it actually delivered any information at all on atmospheric deposition in India and Asia, where very limited information is available in this field. Therefore, this finding is a gap filling one.


Biomonitoring Moss Metal precipitation Rhodobryum giganteum Hypnum cupressiforme Garhwal Hills

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