Selected metal content and antioxidant capacity of Sambucus nigra flowers from the urban areas versus soil parameters and traffic intensity

Justyna Topolska , Anna Kostecka-Gugała , Beata Ostachowicz , Dariusz Latowski


The metal accumulation and antioxidant contents in flowers of wild specimens of European elder (Sambucus nigra L.), a famous medicinal plant and valuable component in the urban landscape, were determined. The total reflection X-ray fluorescence revealed the presence of K, Rb, Ca, Sr, Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn associated with flowers. A typical, large, non-industrial city with considerable traffic and atmospheric pollution resulting from smog was chosen as a place of sampling. Obtained results were correlated with selected parameters of soil and the intensity of surrounding traffic. The flowers were relatively rich in elements K, Ca, Cu, Rb, and antioxidants, while it did not accumulate heavy metals potentially bioavailable in the soil. The correlation between street traffic and the content of Fe, Cr, and Zn in elderflowers was revealed; the metal quantities were below levels harmful to humans. Flowers from the city center exhibited higher antioxidant and radical scavenging capacities comparing to plants from the areas of little traffic. The antioxidant parameters were negatively correlated with the silty fraction content and positively with the potentially bioavailable levels of Ti and Mn in soils and increased with the amount of Rb in the flowers. It was proven for the first time that the urban specimens of wild S. nigra can perform as a local source of beneficial flowers providing cost-effective support in disease prevention and treatment.
Author Justyna Topolska
Justyna Topolska,,
, Anna Kostecka-Gugała (FoBaH / IoPBaB / DoB)
Anna Kostecka-Gugała,,
- Department of Biochemistry
, Beata Ostachowicz
Beata Ostachowicz,,
, Dariusz Latowski
Dariusz Latowski,,
Journal seriesEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research, ISSN 0944-1344, e-ISSN 1614-7499, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets33.4
Keywords in EnglishEuropean elder, Metal pollution, Flower antioxidants, Urban environment
ASJC Classification2700 General Medicine; 2304 Environmental Chemistry; 2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis; 2310 Pollution
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.032; WoS Impact Factor: 2019 = 3.056 (2) - 2019=3.306 (5)
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FinansowanieThis work was funded by AGH University of Science and Technology statutory No. Research of phenolics and antioxidants was financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland.
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