Soil metal concentrations and vegetative assemblage structure in an urban brownfield

Environ Pollut. 2008 May;153(2):351-61. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.08.011. Epub 2007 Sep 27.


Anthropogenic sources of toxic elements have had serious ecological and human health impacts. Analysis of the soil samples from a brownfield within Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, USA, showed that arsenic, chromium, lead, zinc and vanadium exist at concentrations above those considered ambient for the area. Accumulation and translocation features were characterized for the dominant plant species of four vegetative assemblages. The trees Betula populifolia and Populus deltoides were found to be accumulating Zn in leaf tissue at extremely high levels. B. populifolia, P. deltoides and Rhus copallinum accumulated Cr primarily in the root tissue. A comparison of soil metal maps and vegetative assemblage maps indicates that areas of increasing total soil metal load were dominated by successional northern hardwoods while semi-emergent marshes consisting mostly of endemic species were restricted primarily to areas of low soil metal load.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / analysis
  • Betula / chemistry
  • Chromium / analysis
  • Cities
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry
  • Lead / analysis
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • New Jersey
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Populus / chemistry
  • Rhus / chemistry
  • Soil / analysis*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vanadium / analysis
  • Zinc / analysis


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Vanadium
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Arsenic