Accumulation of potentially toxic elements in invasive Ambrosia artemisiifolia on sites with different levels of anthropogenic pollution.
This study investigated invasive Ambrosia artemisiifolia from five localities with different levels of anthropogenic pollution in order to determine the potential for accumulation of trace metals and metaloids. Physical characteristics of the soil are presented, together with concentrations of As, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sr, and Zn in both plant and soil. The tested samples displayed considerable differences in element concentrations, depending on the level of anthropogenic activities, with the highest concentrations of elements observed in samples from Stolice and Piskanja, the sites with most intensive human influence. A trend of shoot accumulation can be observed in A. artemisiifolia, but without hyperaccumulation, along with lower root concentrations in almost all analyzed samples. This may pose an additional environmental risk, as accumulated elements can spread to other components of the ecosystem. While A. artemisiifolia acumulates a high and even toxic rate of B in shoots regardless of boron concentration in soil, there is a high correlation of Ba, Pb, and Zn concentrations in species shoots with their respective concentration in the soil. Successful colonization of both natural and anthropogenically polluted habitats indicates high tolerance of A. artemisiifolia, which complements its wide environmental amplitude.