Table 3

Range of trace element concentrations found in plants and groundwaters of arid- semi-arid ecosystems. The sample concentrations of trace elements used in the mass balance for plants, groundwaters and soils for assessing the potential for biogeochemical anomaly formation by plant communities are shown in bold.

ElementTrace element concentrations
Vegetation (mg/kg)Groundwater (μg/kg)Soil (mg/kg)
Au0.002a0.003–0.04100.04c
<0.00005–0.021410.01b0.01–0.1412
<0.0005–0.008220.02–0.9912
<0.0005–0.00153<0.002–0.01213
<0.0005–0.00294
As1a100b30c
0.10–0.9221.2–225108–4513
<0.05–0.383<5–278115–10414
<0.05–0.574
<0.4–7.45
Co0.5a100b35c
2.4–12.460.4–1001012–12414
0.04–0.556<2–6511
Crd2.5a10b50, 4750d
3.4–9.47<5–1010163–234614
2.0–5.174.1–298015
Cu10a10b50c
1–508<5–371011–6314
9–203611
Nid4a100b35, 315d
1.9–3.761–14010183–266514
1.9–4.164.5–200015
Zn15a30b50c
10–22584–751021–60414
110–13095–134411
  • 1 Values for Hylocomium splendens / Pleuorzium schreberi (terrestrial moss) pooled from data from various sites in Russia, Finland and Norway in Niskavaara et al. (2004).

  • 2 Concentration range for twigs, leaves and bark of Eucalyptus spp. from Victoria, Australia in Arne et al. (1999).

  • 3 Concentration range for twigs and leaves of Callitris aculeata from Victoria, Australia in Arne et al. (1999).

  • 4 Concentration range for needles of Pinus radiata from Victoria, Australia in Arne et al. (1999).

  • 5 Composite concentrations for needles of Pinus banksiana from Saskatchewan, Canada in Dunn & Hoffman (1986).

  • 6 Composite concentrations for leaves of Halosarcia spp. and Eucalyptus spp. respectively from Panglo, Kalgoorlie Western Australia in Lintern & Scott (1999).

  • 7 Composite concentrations for leaves of Atriplex spp. and Eucalyptus spp. respectively from Panglo, Kalgoorlie Western Australia in Lintern & Scott (1999).

  • 8 Composite concentrations for leaves of Rhododendron ponticon and Rhododendron luteum from Turkey in Ackay et al. (1998).

  • 9 Concentrations measured in surface litter from Bounty deposit, Mt Hope, Western Australia in Lintern (1999).

  • 10 Concentrations reported in Gray (2001) for the four categories of groundwaters sampled from Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia; Northern, Central, Kalgoorlie and Eastern.

  • 11 Concentrations in groundwaters associated with porphyry-Cu deposits, Atacama Desert, Chile in Leybourne & Cameron (2008).

  • 12 Concentrations in soils from Zuleika Sands Au deposit and Mt Hope (Bounty Au deposit) respectively, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia in Lintern et al. (1997).

  • 13 Total soil concentrations from McKinnons Au deposit, Cobar, New South Wales, Australia in Cohen et al. (1998).

  • 14 Total soil concentrations from Susaki area, Korinthos, Greece in Kelepertsis et al. (2001).

  • 15 Average soil concentration range for soils developed on Granite (lower limit of concentration) and on Ultramafic (higher limit of concentration) rocks in Rose et al. (1979).

  • a Realistic values for anomalous concentrations from literature (Dunn & Hoffman 1986; Stednick & Riese 1987; Ackay et al. 1998; Cohen et al. 1998; Arne et al. 1999; Niskavaara et al. 2004; Sailerova & Fedikow 2004).

  • b Realistic values for anomalous concentrations from literature (Andrade et al. 1991; Grimes et al. 1995; Giblin & Mazzucchelli 1997; Gray et al. 1999; Kelepertsis et al. 2001; Chung et al. 2005; Leybourne & Cameron 2008)

  • c Realistic values for anomalous concentrations from literature (Grimes et al. 1995; Kelepertsis et al. 2001; Chung et al. 2005; Anand et al. 2007; Lintern 2007).

  • d Soil concentration values for Cr and Ni are bimodal, showing a high dependence on lithology of the parent rock (felsic vs. mafic/ultramafic), so two values were used.