Background: Speciation analysis is defined as the analytical activities of identifying and/or measuring the
quantities of one or more individual chemical species in a sample. The knowledge of elemental species provides more
complete information about mobility, bioavailability and the impact of elements on ecological systems or biological
organisms. It is no longer sufficient to quantitate the total elemental content of samples to define toxicity or essentiality.
Thus speciation analysis is of vital importance and generally offers a better understanding of a specific element.
Discussion: Thorough speciation scheme consisting of sampling, sample preparation, species analysis and evaluation
were described. Special emphasis is placed on recent speciation analysis approaches including both direct and coupling
methods. A current summary of advantages and limitations of the various methods as well as an illustrative method
comparison are presented. Certain elements and species of interest are briefly mentioned and practical examples of
speciation applications in tobacco and other important economic crops are also discussed.
Aim/Conclusion: This review aims to offer comprehensive knowledge about elemental speciation and provide readers
with valuable information. Many strategies have been developed for the determination of multiple elemental species in
tobacco and other important economic crops. Nevertheless, it is an eternal pursuit to establish speciation methods which
can balance accuracy, agility as well as universality.