Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2008 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Fate and transport of soil metals at different spatial scales: a synthesis of prior research
Yesilonis, Ian
Co-Authors: Richard Pouyat, Kirsten Schwarz, Katalin Szlavecz
Abstract: Soil metals may stress environmental and biological processes. Heavy metal contamination may result indirectly from urban environmental sources (e.g., atmospheric deposition) or directly from management inputs (e.g., fertilizer or pesticide use), and waste disposal. The objective of our analysis was to determine how factors such as point and non-point sources, landscape structure, and management affect the spatial distribution of soil metals at different scales: metro, city, and residential. Regional patterns of heavy metal concentrations can be explained by geochemical properties of mineral soil and parent material and atmospheric deposition. Regional studies of heavy metal contamination in forest soils showed a significant relationship between Pb concentrations and proximity to major urban areas, while variations in the amounts of Zn, Cu, Ni, and Cd did not appear to be related to atmospheric patterns of deposition except near point sources of pollution.