Series preface. Preface. General Aspects. Distribution and effects of trace substances in soils, plants and animals (B. Markert, G. Kayser, S. Korhammer, J. Oehlmann). Natural trace element input to the soil-sediment-water-plant system: examples of background and contaminated situations in Switzerland, Eastern France and Northern Italy (H.-R. Pfeifer, M.-H. Derron, D. Rey, C. Schlegal, O. Atteia, R. Dalla Piazza, J.-P. Dubois, Y. Mandia). Cadmium in the environment of Central Europe (M. Ursínyová, V. Hladíková). Lead in the environment of Central Europe (M. Ursínyová, V. Hladíková). Analytical Techniques. Instrumental techniques for trace analysis (R. Djingova, I. Kuleff). Nuclear analytical techniques in atmospheric trace element studies in Portugal (M.C. Freitas, M.A. Reis, L.C. Alves, H. Th. Wolterbeek). Chemical analysis of organoarsenic based chemical warfare agents in the environment (F.-A. Pitten, K. Thurow, A. Koch, A. Kramer). Botanical Samples. Environment and elemental content of lichens (J. Garty). Trace metals, other chemical elements and lichen physiology: research in the nineties (J. Garty). Assessment of metal pollution of aquatic systems with the water moss Fontinalis antipyretica L. ex. Hedw. – from fundamental investigations to physiological effects (I. Bruns, K. Friese, G. Krauss, G.-J. Krauss). Antimony contents in plant species growing in an Sb-mining district (Tuscany, Italy) (F. Baroni, A. Boscagli, G. Protano, F. Riccobono). Foliar heavy metals in trees from a tropical rain forest in Sarawak (G. Breulmann, K. Ogino, B. Markert). Trace metals in tree-rings: what do they tell us? (J. Hagemeyer). Zoological Samples. Mercury induced alterations in the energetics of hepatopancreas of two freshwater molluscs, Pila globosa and Lamellidens marginalis (B. Sivaramakrishna, K. Radhakrishnaiah). Effects of mercury on glutathione and glutathione-dependent enzymes in catfish (Ictalurus melas R.) (A.-C. Elia, A.-J.-M. Dörr, L. Mantilacci, M.-I. Taticchi, R. Galarini). Body burden with metals and detoxifying abilities of the grasshopper – Chorthippus brunneus (Thunberg) from industrially polluted areas (M. Augustyniak, P. Migula). Environmental monitoring of heavy metals with magpie (Pica pica) feathers – an example of Polish polluted and control areas (K. Dmowski). Lead, zinc and cadmium in biological tissues of sheep bred in a polluted area (G. Chessa, G. Calaresu, G. Ledda, M.C. Testa, A. Orrù). Essential and toxic elements in roe deer blood (Siena County, Italy) (F. Baroni, G. Protano, F. Riccobono, G. Sabatini). Cadmium residue in placenta tissue and umbilical cord blood (V.M. Vidovic, D.I. Bogunovic, D.M. Vidovic). Soils and Sediments. Geochemical behaviour of trace metals in freshwater sediments (G. van den Berg, J.P. Gustav Loch, L.M. van der Heijdt, J.J. G. Zwolsman). Radionuclides. Spatial variability of 137Cs and 40K activity concentrations in soils and plants of alpine pastures: effects of micro- and mesotopography (B.P. Albers, R. Rackwitz, S. Kleinschroth, K. Bunzl). The fate of several radionuclides derived from atmospheric fallout in a river watershed (T. Matsunaga). Author index. Subject index.