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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 14 No. 2, p. 217-224
    Received: Dec 16, 1983

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Mineral Content of Sphagnum Mosses in Belgian Bog Ecosystems1

  1. J. F. M. Lembrechts and
  2. O. L. J. Vanderborght2



The concentrations of 11 elements (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, P, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn) were determined in nine Sphagnum species, collected in minerotrophic and ombrotrophic bogs in northern (“De Antwerpse Kempen”) and eastern (“Les Hautes Fagnes”) Belgium. The concentrations of all elements, except Ca, Zn, and Mn, were positively related to the moistness of the habitat. Differences in the behavior of the individual elements are explained by differences in origin, physical properties, and biological importance. The Ca and Cu levels were lower in “Les Hautes Fagnes” due to differences in air pollution (Cu) or trophic status of the sampling sites (Ca). The concentrations of all elements, except Ca, Mg, and Mn, exceeded those of Sphagnum from Canada and Scandinavia, probably indicating a higher trophic status or a higher industrial and agricultural pollution level in the areas investigated.

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