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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Phytoaccumulation of Trace Elements by Wetland Plants: III. Uptake and Accumulation of Ten Trace Elements by Twelve Plant Species


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 28 No. 5, p. 1448-1455
    Received: Oct 5, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): nterry@nature.berkeley.edu
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  1. Jin-Hong Qian1,
  2. Adel Zayed1,
  3. Yong-Liang Zhu,
  4. Mei Yu and
  5. Norman Terry *
  1. Dep. of Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3102.



Interest is increasing in using wetland plants in constructed wetlands to remove toxic elements from polluted wastewater. To identify those wetland plants that hyperaccumulate trace elements, 12 plant species were tested for their efficiency to bioconcentrate 10 potentially toxic trace elements including As, B, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, Ni, and Se. Individual plants were grown under carefully controlled conditions and supplied with 1 mg L−1 of each trace element individually for 10 d. Except B, all elements accumulated to much higher concentrations in roots than in shoots. Highest shoot tissue concentrations (mg kg−1 DW) of the various trace elements were attained by the following species: umbrella plant (Cyperus alternifolius L.) for Mn (198) and Cr (44); water zinnia (Wedelia trilobata Hitchc.) for Cd (148) and Ni (80); smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides Michx.) for Cu (95) and Pb (64); water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes L.) for Hg (92), As (34), and Se (39); and mare's tail (Hippuris vulgaris L.) for B (1132). Whereas, the following species attained the highest root tissue concentrations (mg kg−1 DW): stripped rush (Baumia rubiginosa) for Mn (1683); parrot's feather (Myriophyllum brasiliense Camb.) for Cd (1426) and Ni (1077); water lettuce for Cu (1038), Hg (1217), and As (177); smartweed for Cr (2980) and Pb (1882); mare's tail B (1277); and monkey flower (Mimulus guttatus Fisch.) for Se (384). From a phytoremediation perspective, smartweed was probably the best plant species for trace element removal from wastewater due to its faster growth and higher plant density.

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