The soil-plant relationship of Salsola orientalis S. G. Gmel. and its use in mineral prospecting from the Forumad area, Sabzevar ophiolite, Iran

Document Type: Regular Paper


1 Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, 7146713565, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, 7146713565, Iran


Biogeochemical investigation on S. orientalis, a flora growing on the soils derived from serpentinized dunite in the Forumad area, Sabzevar ophiolite has been conducted in order to examine the plant-soil relationship in chromite prospecting. Due to engagement of Cr in the chromite crystal structure and its non-essential role in the plant’s life cycle, Ni was used as pathfinder element in biogeochemical prospecting of chromite deposits. Quantitative estimation of Mn, Fe, Ca, Mg, K, Na, Cr, Ni and Co in soils and different plant organs of S. orientalis by using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) revealed that the leaf stem is the most reliable organ for ore prospecting in the Forumad area. Determination of bio-concentration factor (BCF) for Cr, Ni and Co in S. orientalis explicitly demonstrated that the flora adopts exclusion and accumulation mechanisms for Cr-Co and Ni, respectively. Current research signifies the excellent correlation between Cr and Ni (0.91) in host soil of the S. orientalis and the tendency of the plant to absorb Ni selectively enhances the chance of sampling the plant’s leaf as a biogeochemical medium for the exploration of new hidden mineral deposits in the Sabzevar ophiolite belt as well as the other similar settings.