Metals in Mosses

Updated 2012-07-19

An alternative for metal deposition measurements is to analyze their abundance in mosses since metals bind strongly to cation exchange sites in them. The concentration of metals in mosses would therefore act as an index for metal deposition. It is also assumed that uptake of most water and dissolved substances comes directly from precipitation; even if it has been shown that capillary transport of dissolved metals may be substantial. A national inventory of metals in mosses takes place at 5-year intervals (Table 4, #1.11). The two-to-three last years growth is identified and collected for chemical analysis ICP-AES and ICP-MS (As, Cd, Hg) Metals are adsorbed by mosses and metal concentration in mosses are therefore seen as a proxy for metal deposition. Moss species: Pleurozium schreberi, Hylocomium splendens Analyzed metals: As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Pb, V, Zn Sampling sites: More than 700 sites over Sweden Time period: 1/5 years, first report 1975 and last reported 2005.

Time frame

Project time span
1975 -
Data collection
1975 -
Data processing
1975 -
Data reporting
1975 -

Contact information

Contact person
- -

Karin Sjöberg, IVL


Parameters and Media

Not specified


Regions studied

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Pb, V, Zn

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)

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