Abstract

Four New Zealand indigenous plant species: Nothofagus fusca, Nothofagus menziesii, Quintinia acutifolia and Weinmannia racemosa together with their associated soils from the Riwaka Basic Complex were analyzed for copper, nickel and zinc in connection with a biogeochemical orientation survey. Statistical analysis showed that the nickel content of ashed leaves of N. fusca and N. menziesii correlated well with the nickel content of the soil. The copper content of the leaf ash of N. fusca gave the best correlation with the copper content of the soil. No significant correlations were obtained for zinc. The effect of pH on the accumulation of the above elements by plants was found to be negligible for copper and zinc in all species, and for nickel in all species except W. racemosa. Data are also presented for interelemental correlations in plants and soils considered separately. It was concluded that the suitability of these New Zealand species for biogeochemical prospecting for copper and nickel in the Riwaka Basic Complex has been demonstrated.

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