The effects of high Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations on pigments of Pinus massoniana L. (PML) growing near the Dabaoshan Pb-Zn polymetallic mine were evaluated. A total of 19 samples of PML needles and 15 samples of soil were collected near the mine and at a nearby background site to compare heavy metal (HM; Zn, Cu, Pb) accumulations. A 2D scatter plot was used to study the relationships between the pigments and each metal element. PML needles collected from the mining area had a significantly higher content of Pb (24.5 mg/kg) and Cu (26.1 mg/kg) than needles collected from the background site (Pb: 2.8 mg/kg, Cu: 6.7 mg/kg). The HM concentrations in the needles were positively correlated with the pigment contents (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and carotenoids) . This suggests that PML can adapt to HM stress and even promote growth within a certain range. In contrast, when the HM content in needles reached very high values (Cu: 50 mg/kg, Pb: 60 mg/kg, and Zn: 110 mg/kg), the normal physiological and biochemical functions were hindered. PML is highly resistant to HM pollution, making it a candidate for reforestation and restoration of Pb and other HMs in mine areas.

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