keywords: Bioaccumulation, biomonitoring, bryophytes, heavy metals, Northwestern, Nigeria
Significant contribution of air pollution to the diminished health status of the exposed human populations has become a matter of global concern. This work was designed to study the use of moss species as bio-monitors of airborne heavy metals in some towns of northwestern Nigeria (Birnin gwari, Zaria, Kano and Ringim). Moss sampling was carried out during the dry and wet seasons from various substrates. Heavy metal content of Cobalt (Co), Nickel (Ni), Copper (Cu), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), Chromium (Cr) and Zinc (Zn) in the samples were determined using Fast Sequential Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (Varian AAS 240FS). Results show that Kano had the highest mean concentrations of 4 of the 7 heavy metals analyzed; these were Cu (68.65 ppm), Cd (2.56 ppm), Cr (96.75 ppm) and Pb (67.39 ppm). Kano had the highest concentrations of almost all the major pollutants, while Ringim had the least of the majority of metals. Ni, Cu, Cd, Cr and Co showed relatively higher accumulation values in the wet season than the dry season, while Pb and Zn had higher values in the dry season but this was statistically not significant in any case. The study has shown that Bryum coronatum, Fissidens grandifolius and Hyophila crenulata are bioindicators/biomonitors of heavy metals in the studied locations with B. coronatum as the most effective, having highest metal accumulation capacity.
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