Environmental screening for the assessment of potentially toxic elements content in PGI soils from the Mediterranean region (Italy and Turkey)

Mottese A. F., Sabatino G., Di Bella M., Fede M. R., Caridi F., Parisi F., ...More

ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol.79, no.22, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 79 Issue: 22
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12665-020-09245-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


To provide a contribution to the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, here we present the results of a study focused on the potentially toxic elements (PTE) content in agricultural soils' representative for the Mediterranean region. To reach this aim, samples of 22 Italian (NE Peloritani Mountains, Sicily) and 18 Turkish (Amik Plain, Hatay) soils were collected and analyzed to evaluate their PTE content. The Italian and Turkish sites have been selected because they represent very important cultivation zones. In Amik Plain (Turkey), the dominant crops consist of cotton, wheat, corn and olives, whereas in NE Peloritani Mountains, Sicily (Italy), an appreciate citrus variety, known as the "Interdonato lemon", guaranteed by Protected Geographical Indication label, is produced. The collected results include: (1) the assessment of PTE levels in soils; (2) the identification of the PTE sources; (3) the relationships between PTE contents and soil properties (pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, CaCO3, and clay). Several multivariate statistical methods such as correlation matrix, cluster analysis and main component analysis were applied to individuate the anthropogenic vs natural origin of the PTE sources. The detected PTE levels are in decreasing order Mn>Zn>V>Cr>Cu>Ni>As>Pb>Co>Sb>Se>Cd for the Italian soils, and Mn>Ni>V>Zn>Cr>Cu>Pb>Co>As>Se>Sb>Cd for the Turkish soils. The overall obtained results allowed to define: (a) a main lithogenic source for PTE detected in the Italian soils, except for Zn which origin is also associated to anthropogenic input; (b) a lithogenic origin for all of the PTE detected for the Turkish soils, with an associate anthropogenic contribution for Cr, Ni, V, Cu and V. The results obtained in this work enhance the knowledge in the individuation of PTE pollution sources in agricultural soils of the European Mediterranean region.