The estimation of chemical concentrations in wildlife foods, such as plant foliage, is often performed for risk assessments at contaminated sites. Regression models and uptake factors for use in estimating the uptake of inorganic elements from soil by above-ground plant tissues were derived in this study. These included models for arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, and zinc. Models were developed using published data from soil contaminated in the field and were validated using measured concentrations from two contaminated sites. Single-variable regression models of log-transformed concentrations in plants versus log-transformed concentrations in soil are generally recommended over simple uptake factors for use in estimating plant uptake of inorganic contaminants in ecological risk assessments. Multiple regression models with soil concentration and pH as the variables are also recommended for estimating the uptake of four chemicals (cadmium, mercury, selenium, and zinc) by plants. Models for use in screening risk assessments, i.e., the upper 95% prediction limits on the regressions, are recommended to provide conservative estimates of uptake of inorganic chemicals by plants.
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