Current content of selected pollutants in moss, humus, soil and bark and long-term radial growth of pine trees in the Mezaparks forest in Riga

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 May;24(13):11964-11977. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-5540-1. Epub 2015 Nov 4.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of various indicators in the assessment of environmental pollution and to determine the response of pine to changes of pollution levels. Mezaparks is a part of Riga that has been subject to various long-term effects of atmospheric pollution and, in particular, historically from a large superphosphate factory. To determine the spatial distribution of pollution, moss, pine bark and soil O and B horizons were used as sorbents in this study, as well as the additional annual increment of pine trees. The current spatial distribution of pollution is best shown by heavy metal accumulation in mosses and the long-term accumulation of P2O5 pollution by the soil O horizon. The methodological problems of using these sorbents were explored in the study. Environmental pollution and its changes could be associated with the tree growth ring annual additional increment of Mezaparks pine forest stands. The additional increment increased after the closing of the Riga superphosphate factory.

Keywords: Bark; Bioindication; Moss; Soil; Tree ring additional increment.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Bryophyta / chemistry*
  • Diphosphates
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Forests
  • Latvia
  • Pinus / chemistry*
  • Pinus / growth & development
  • Plant Bark / chemistry
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Trees / growth & development


  • Air Pollutants
  • Diphosphates
  • Soil
  • superphosphate