Cement kiln dusts, made of a complex mixture of elements, include high levels of heavy metals such as fluoride, magnesium, lead, cadmium, nickel, zinc, copper, beryllium and some toxic compounds. Because of the toxic element compositions and radioactive isotope properties of cement kiln dusts, not only terrestrial but also aquatic ecosystems are subjected to greater stress. In the present paper, we investigated the effects of pollution caused by Askale-Erzurum cement factory (CF) on the stress parameters and diversity of aquatic plants. For this purpose, aquatic plant species were collected from the outer zone of the CF. Only three (Lemna minor, Ceratophyllum submersum and Potamogeton natans) of these species were able to be determined in the CF zone. Antioxidant enzyme activities of the collected aquatic plants were measured and compared to their controls. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of P. natans in the CF zone was significantly high compared to their respective control, while it was low in L. minor and C. submersum compared to their controls. Similarly, peroxidase (POX) activity of P. natans was high, while those of L. minor and C. submersum were low compared to their respective controls. On the other side, while catalase (CAT) activities of L. minor and C. submersum were low, that of P. natans did not show an important change compared to their respective controls. Furthermore, we found that hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of all the studied plants were also very high compared to their controls. According to these results, it is clear that pollution caused by the CF reduced diversity and number of aquatic plant species. Besides, the obtained data revealed that P. natans have a more resistant defense system than other species.
*Abstract online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20430819