Nickel uptake by cypress pine (Callitris glaucophylla) in the miandetta area, australia: Implications for use in biogeochemical exploration

Kenneth McQueen, Augustine Alorbi, Joseph Schifano, David Cohen

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Abstract

The uptake of Ni and other elements by Callitris glaucophylla (white cypress pine), from weathered ultramafic rocks under varying depths of transported regolith cover, is examined at two sites in the Miandetta area, New South Wales, Australia. Results show that C. glaucophylla can accu-mulate elevated Ni concentrations in the needles (leaves or phyllodes) from underlying Ni-enriched regolith up to two orders of magnitude above the normal micronutrient levels required for the spe-cies. Such uptake levels occur in areas with high total Ni in the soil and regolith despite the relatively low mobility of the Ni due to its presence in a low availability form. This highlights the importance of biotic processes in extracting Ni from soil. The needles of C. glaucophylla could provide an effec-tive and convenient sampling medium for reconnaissance biogeochemical exploration for Ni mineralisation and anomalies where transported regolith is less than ~3 m thick. The study has also demonstrated the potential for in situ analysis of Ni and other elements in the needles by portable XRF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number808
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalMinerals
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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