In this study, the effect of mine work wastes on elemental composition (N, P, Ca, K, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn) of some alpine and subalpine plant species and in soils were investigated in the surroundings of the Etibank Wolfram Mine Work in Uludag mountain. Soils and plant parts belonging to Thymus praecox Opiz., Acinos alpinus (L.) Moench, Plantago holosteum Scop and Festuca punctoria Sm species collected from three directions around Wolfram Mine Work were used for our investigations. All samples were analysed by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS) for Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, and Cu. The significant differences among sample sites were in terms of pH, % CaCO3, % C, % N and % P contents of soil. The changes of Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Fe, Zn, and Cu contents in soil were determined to be due to mining activity. Of the four species examined, an important change was determined in concentrations of Mg, Mn, Fe and Zn although P. holosteum and F. punctoria were different in above- and below-ground parts, showing that plant element content is specific to species. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.