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Uptake of Heavy Metals by Native Species Growing in a Mining Area in Sardinia, Italy: Discovering Native Flora for Phytoremediation

Barbafieri, M., Dadea, C., Tassi, E., Bretzel, F., Fanfani, L.
International journal of phytoremediation 2011 v.13 no.10 pp. 985-997
Cistus, Dittrichia viscosa, Euphorbia, Helichrysum, Poa annua, aboveground biomass, cadmium, flora, heavy metals, indigenous species, lead, mining, pastures, phytoremediation, sediments, soil, zinc, Italy, Sardinia
This study assessed the distribution and availability of plant uptake of Zn, Pb, and Cd present in an abandoned mine at Ingurtosu, Sardinia (Italy). Geological matrix samples (sediments, tailings, and soil from a nearby pasture site) and samples of the predominant plant species growing on sediments and tailings were collected. Mean values of total Zn, Pb and Cd were respectively (mg kg⁻¹) 7400, 1800, and 56 in tailings, 31000, 2900, and 100 in sediments, and 400, 200, and 8 in the pasture soil. The metal concentration values were high even in the mobile fractions evaluated by simplified sequential extraction (Zn 7485-103, Pb 1015-101, Cd 47-4 mg kg⁻¹). Predominant native species were identified and analyzed for heavy metal content in various tissues. Among the plant species investigated Inula viscosa, Euphorbia dendroides, and Poa annua showed the highest metal concentration in aboveground biomass (mean average of Zn: 1680, 1020, 1400; Pb: 420, 240, 80; Cd: 28, 7, 19 mg kg⁻¹, respectively). The above mentioned species and A. donax could be good candidates for a phytoextraction procedure. Cistus salvifolius and Helichrysum italicus generally showed behavior more suitable for a phytostabilizer.