Uptake and Distribution of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in Cereal Crops, Grown in Industrially Polluted Region

1 Agricultural University, Dept. of Chemistry, BG-4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 Agricultural University, Dept. of Plant Science, BG-4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


ANGELOVA, V., R. IVANOVA and K. IVANOV, 2003. Uptake and distribution of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in cereal crops, grown in industrially polluted region. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 9: 665–672

The accumulation of lead, copper, zinc and cadmium by cereal crops (barley, rye, triticale and wheat) from soils contaminated with heavy metals was studied in the vicinity of the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The contents of the heavy metals in the plant material (roots, stems, leaves, grains and glumes) was determined after the method of the dry mineralization. The quantitative measurements were carried out with ICP.
A clearly distinguished species peculiarity existed in the accumulation of heavy metals in the vegetative and reproductive organs of the cereal crops. The cereal crops can be divided into two groups which differ considerably in their ability to accumulate heavy metals: (i) – moderate accumulator (barley, rye, triticale), and (ii) high accumulator (wheat). The accumulation of Pb, Zn and Cd in the epigeous parts and the grain of rye, triticale, barley and wheat in quantities, considerably exceeding the maximum permissible concentrations, necessitates a very careful approach in their growing in industrially polluted regions. The cereal crops cannot be used as food from man, nor for fodder for the animals. The cereal crops can be grown in industrially polluted regions only if they are used for grain-production or processing – the grain to be used for obtaining spirit, and the straw – for obtaining cellulose.

Key words: heavy metals, cereal crops, polluted soils