Trace Element Similarity Groups in North Florida Spanish Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The elemental composition of 10 samples of Spanish moss Tillandsia usneoides L. collected mainly in forested areas near Tallahassee, Florida, has been compared to the composition of the ambient aerosol particle background in the forest measured as a function of particle size. For forest samples, moss composition is similar to the composition of aerosol particles greater than about 0.5-μm diameter for the elements S, Cl, Ti, V, Fe, Ni, Zn, Br, Pb, and possibly Cu. Elements relatively enriched in the moss fall into two groups, K, Rb, Zr and Ca, Sr, Mn, based on detailed association patterns. No evidence is found for an enrichment, relative to the ambient aerosol, of pollution-derived elements Pb, Br, V, and Ni, although those elements are found at higher concentrations in moss samples from locations nearer roadways or oil-fired power plants. The moss appears to have potential value as an indicator of time average aerosol composition for particles of ≥0.5 μm, except for the enriched elements, which may have longer biological retention times.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
  • Subatomic Physics


  • trace elements, Spanish moss, uptake of aerosol particles
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1050
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1976
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology (011025002), Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007)