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Origin and distribution of rare earth elements in various lichen and moss species over the last century in France

Abstract : Rare earth elements (REE) are known to be powerful environmental tracers in natural biogeochemical compartments. In this study, the atmospheric deposition of REE was investigated using various lichens and mosses as well as herbarium samples from 1870 to 1998 from six major forested areas in France. The comparison between the REE distribution patterns in organisms and bedrocks showed a regional uniformity influence from dust particles originating from the bedrock and/or soil weathering that were entrapped by lichens and mosses. These lithological signatures were consistent over the last century. The REE patterns of different organism species allowed minor influence of the species to be highlighted compared to the regional lithology. This was even true where the morphological features played a role in the bioaccumulation levels, which were related to the variable efficiency in trapping atmospheric dust particles. A comparison between REE profiles in the organisms and bark indicated a lack of influence of the substrate on lichen REE content. Lichens and mosses appear to be robust passive monitors of REE atmospheric deposition over decades because the mineral data was preserved in herbarium samples despite organic degradation being shown by carbon isotopes and SEM observations. To overcome the bias of REE concentration that resulted from organic degradation, the use of a normalized method is recommended to interpret the historical samples.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 27, 2014 - 11:35:17 AM
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Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 11:15:29 AM

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Yannick Agnan, Nathalie Séjalon-Delmas, Anne Probst. Origin and distribution of rare earth elements in various lichen and moss species over the last century in France. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2014, vol. 487, pp. 1-12. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.132⟩. ⟨hal-01015842⟩

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