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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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    Abstract - Issue May 2017, 38 (3)                                     Back

nstantaneous and historical temperature effects on a-pinene

Sequential elution technique applied to terrestrial mosses: Acclimatization period and replicability


A. P?rez-Llamazares*, J.R. Aboal, A. Carballeira and J.?. Fern?ndez

Ecology, Faculty of Biology, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain

*Corresponding Author E-mail:  




Key words


Plasma membrane,

Pseudoscleropodium purum,

Sequential Elution Technique



Publication Data

Paper received : 17.12.2013

Revised received : 30.06.2014

Accepted : 28.08.2014



Aim: Use of the Sequential Elution Technique (SET) offers several advantages over measurement of the total concentration of elements in terrestrial mosses, although some methodological problems remain to be resolved. Two such problems were addressed in the present study: the length of the acclimatization period for the moss Pseudocleropodium purum, and the number of analytical replicates required for accurate results.


Methodology: Specimens of Pseudoscleropodium purum were collected from a contaminated and uncontaminated site. Tests were carried out to determine if the acclimatization period allowed the recovery of cell membranes of moss samples subjected to high radiation for different lengths of time (to simulate different states of drought that cause devitalization of moss samples collected at the uncontaminated site). Replicate moss samples (50) from each sampling site were analysed to determine the number of replicates required for accurate measurement of the concentrations of elements in each cell fraction by the SET. 


Results: The effect of acclimatization varied depending on the degree of devitalization. It was found that the greater the degree of devitalization, longer the time required to reach the range of K concentrations at which membrane integrity was 70%. Regarding the number of replicates, with some exceptions, assuming an error of 15 and 20%, 5 and 3 replicates, respectively, were sufficient and the result of the present study does not seem to be affected by the physico-chemical characteristics of the studied elements.     


Interpretation: The results indicated that seven day acclimatization period was optimal to allow recovery of the membranes of moss samples subjected to natural desiccation, thus minimizing the possibility of any changes in the distribution of elements in the different cell compartments. Regarding the number of replicates, 5 and 3 replicates were sufficient, assuming error of 15 and 20%, respectively. 



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