Heavy metal and trace elements in riparian vegetation and macrophytes associated with lacustrine systems in Northern Patagonia Andean Range.
Vegetation associated with lacustrine systems in Northern Patagonia was studied for heavy metal and trace element contents, regarding their elemental contribution to these aquatic ecosystems. The research focused on native species and exotic vascular plant Salix spp. potential for absorbing heavy metals and trace elements. The native species studied were riparian Amomyrtus luma, Austrocedrus chilensis, Chusquea culeou, Desfontainia fulgens, Escallonia rubra, Gaultheria mucronata, Lomatia hirsuta, Luma apiculata, Maytenus boaria, Myrceugenia exsucca, Nothofagus antarctica, Nothofagus dombeyi, Schinus patagonicus, and Weinmannia trichosperma, and macrophytes Hydrocotyle chamaemorus, Isöetes chubutiana, Galium sp., Myriophyllum quitense, Nitella sp. (algae), Potamogeton linguatus, Ranunculus sp., and Schoenoplectus californicus. Fresh leaves were analyzed as well as leaves decomposing within the aquatic bodies, collected from lakes Futalaufquen and Rivadavia (Los Alerces National Park), and lakes Moreno and Nahuel Huapi (Nahuel Huapi National Park). The elements studied were heavy metals Ag, As, Cd, Hg, and U, major elements Ca, K, and Fe, and trace elements Ba, Br, Co, Cr, Cs, Hf, Na, Rb, Se, Sr, and Zn. Geochemical tracers La and Sm were also determined to evaluate contamination of the biological tissues by geological particulate (sediment, soil, dust) and to implement concentration corrections.