Accumulation of several heavy metals and lanthanides in mushrooms (Agaricales) from the Chicago region

Deborah M. Aruguete, Joseph H. Aldstadt, Gregory M. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This study explored the differences in metal uptake in sporocarps of ectomycorrhizae-forming fungi relative to (1) fungal species; (2) collection location; (3) differential metal uptake and variation within single-species, single-area populations; and (4) mobile metal content of soil substrate for the fungi. In addition, this study examined levels of some of the lanthanides in these mushrooms, as lanthanide uptake in higher fungi has not been quantified to date. In 1995 and 1996, sporocarps from three species of ectomycorrhizal fungi (Amanita flavorubescens, Amanita rubescens, and Russula pectinatoides) were collected from Cowles Bog, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (near an industrial area) and the Palos forest preserves (near a residential area). Soil was also collected from the Cowles Bog plots; metals were extracted from the soil, either with local Lake Michigan water or with nitric acid. These two extractions were meant to simulate the natural soil equilibrium concentrations of soluble metals and the maximum possible effects of any fungal chelating chemicals, respectively. An inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer was used to analyze soil extracts and nitric acid digests of whole sporocarps for the target analytes. The metals found at elevated levels in the mushrooms included four of environmental interest (Ag, Cd, Ba, and Pb) and three lanthanides (La, Ce, and Nd). Significant differences in uptake of metals were observed between A. rubescens and R. pectinatoides, while A. rubescens and A. flavorubescens were not significantly different. With regard to location, more cadmium was found in Cowles Bog collections of A. rubescens, while Palos forest A. rubescens had more of the lanthanides and barium. Significant specimen-to-specimen variation occurred in all populations examined. Correlation analysis between pairs of trace elements within each sporocarp population revealed strong positive correlations between the lanthanides. Sporocarps concentrated more metal than was made available by the lake water extraction of soil and less metal than was made available by the nitric acid extraction of soil. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-56
Number of pages14
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 11 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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