What does mercury mean in any way

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Mercury levels in pine needles
Mercury is not required by the plant, but it accumulates in the leaves / needles through direct absorption from the air during the year. Different levels of mercury in the soil have little or no influence on the mercury content in the leaves and needles. The levels found do not affect the spruce bio-indicator in any way, but mercury is very suitable as an immission marker.

The mercury determination is carried out after the sample has been burned with oxygen using cold vapor technology through atomic absorption. Thanks to this simple, contamination-free analysis, even low naturally occurring mercury levels can still be detected.

In order to get an initial overview of the mercury content in spruce needle samples in Austria, samples from the Austrian bio-indicator network were / are randomly examined for their mercury content from the 2006 sampling. The following figure shows the results from Carinthia.


Figure 1: Austrian Bioindicator Network 2006 (Carinthia) - mercury levels in needle year 1



The levels are between 0.007 and 0.057 mg Hg / kg dry matter. The highest levels were observed in the area between St. Veit and Völkermarkt.

Figure 2: Austrian Bioindicator Network 2006 (Carinthia) - frequency distribution of the mercury content in needle year 1 in mg Hg / kg