Nickel

formula: Ni; CAS Registry Number: 7440-02-0

Naturally occurring transition metal

Nickel is widespread in nature, its concentrations, however, are mostly low. Nickel alloys play an important role in steel industry. The pure metal is used, e.g. in electronic industry, in glass- and ceramic production, as catalyst in food industry, in coatings and batteries.

Nickel is released into the environment during weathering of rocks and human activities. Under normal conditions free nickel ions are quickly bound to iron and manganese particles and settle in the soils and sediments.

For plants and microorganisms nickel is an essential trace element, whereas its essentiality for animals and humans is not as clear. It has toxic properties and often leads to allergic skin reaction in humans. Nickel compounds are classified as carcinogenic to humans. Furthermore, effects on reproduction and teratogenic effects have been demonstrated in animal experiments.

Nickel and its compounds are toxic to aquatic organisms. Toxicity, however, varies markedly between species and depends strongly on abiotic factors. Some aquatic and terrestrial plants are capable of accumulating nickel, whereas accumulation in fish is low.

Recommended analysis examples

Specimen

  • Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
  • Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
  • Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
  • One of the most important edible mussel species common in the North and Baltic Sea
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.
  • Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.

Sampling area

Sampling period

1985 - 2019