Hazardous compounds accumulate in plants and animals as a result of anthropogenic impact. Trace elements, such as heavy metals, move up in the system of snow – soil – water – plant – animal. When contaminants accumulate in plants that serve as animal feed, they eventually accumulate in the animals that consume the feed because heavy metals usually enter living organisms via digestive tract, i.e., with food. In 2003–2021, we studied fodder plants grown and harvested by urban zoological organizations, e.g., zoos, nature corners, etc. This research covered the Central Federal District represented by the cities of Moscow, Ivanovo, Yaroslavl, and Uglich. The empirical part of the study relied on a combination of modern ecological, biochemical, and statistical methods. A KVANT-2AT atomic absorption spectrometer was used to define the trace elements and their quantities. Broccoli proved to be the most resistant feed vegetable to all the toxic elements in this study. Kohlrabi, sweet potato, and dill had low content of lead and cadmium, while garlic was highly resistant to cadmium and arsenic. Spinach, fennel, potatoes, beets, and bell peppers, which were used as fodder in metropolis conditions, exceeded the maximal permissible concentration of heavy metals. The samples obtained from the Moscow Zoo contained by 1.98 times more zinc, by 1.06 times more copper, and by 89.47 times more lead than average. The samples from Ivanovo accumulated the greatest extent of iron, which exceeded the average level by 3.26 times. The vegetables from Uglich and Ivanovo had the lowest concentration of zinc, which was by 67.86 and 62.70% below the average, respectively. The samples from Yaroslavl contained by 33.08% less copper. In 2003–2021, feed vegetables grown in the Central Federal District had an average increase in zinc, copper, and lead by 1.13, 1.45, and 2.80 times, respectively. The level of iron stayed almost the same throughout 2018–2021, while that of arsenic gradually decreased in concentration. The accumulation level of zinc, copper, iron, and arsenic in feed vegetables appeared to depend on the concentration of their water-soluble metal forms in the soil. Therefore, forage agriculture in urban areas requires constant chemical and toxicological tests to prevent contaminated feed from entering animal diet.
Vegetables, trace elements, heavy metals, arsenic, migration, deposit media, pollution
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