Assessment of Trace Element Contents in Soils and Water from Cerrado Wetlands, Triângulo Mineiro Region
In the Brazilian Cerrado biome, there are wetlands locally known as “Veredas”, which are swampy plains between hills and rivers. Since the 1970’s, the Cerrado biome has been gradually converted to livestock, crop, or forestry production. Until now, very few studies were conducted to evaluate the baseline contents of trace elements in Cerrado wetland soils. Due to their position in the landscape (bottom lands), the wetlands are potentially susceptible to contamination by runoff and/or leaching from surrounding areas at higher altitudes. This work evaluated the As, Cd, Pb, Ni, Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe contents in soils from six wetlands (undisturbed and disturbed) in the Minas Gerais Triangle region, Brazil. In each wetland, we collected topsoil samples (0.00-0.20 m layer) and subsurface samples (0.40-0.70 m layer) at different landscape positions in the wetlands (upper, middle, and bottom positions). The soil samples were air-dried, ground, and sieved through 2-mm mesh. Afterwards, the soil digestion was performed according to the USEPA 3051A protocol, and the trace elements were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry (flame or graphite furnace atomization). Water samples were also collected monthly from September 2014 to September 2015 to determine the elemental composition by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The contents of all soil trace elements studied were below the threshold values established by Brazilian guidelines. The soil trace element (cations and/or oxyanions) distributions varied according to soil depth and organic matter content. Our findings contribute to the sparse inventory of Brazilian Cerrado wetlands regarding trace-element contents.