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Absorption and translocation of copper, zinc and chromium by Sesbania virgata

Branzini, Agustina, González, Rocío Santos, Zubillaga, Marta
Journal of environmental management 2012 v.102 pp. 50-54
Sesbania, absorption, bioaccumulation factor, biomass, chromium, copper, heavy metals, indigenous species, metal tolerance, phytoremediation, plant tissues, polluted soils, roots, zinc
Heavy metals (HM) incorporated to ecosystems as a mixture could interact and generate contamination, which might be mitigated through phytoremediation. The heavy metal tolerance of native species of Sesbania from the Argentinean Pampas is poorly documented. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of interactions between copper, zinc and chromium, in binary form, on Sesbania virgata biomass, absorption and translocation. The HM transfer from a contaminated soil to plants and into plant tissues are discussed in terms of the Bioconcentration Factor (BCF) and the Transfer Factor (TF). In a pot experiment, HM were added either individually or in binary mixture solutions of Cu, Zn and Cr, in low or high doses. In all treatments, the main accumulation of HM appeared in plant roots, and Zn is more removed from soils by S. virgata (BCF average in roots Zn > Cr > Cu). In the binary mixture of Cu and Zn, Sesbania plants absorbed the highest concentrations of these metals. In contrast, Cr was more absorbed in the individual treatments. While the co-presence of metals resulted in a greater reduction in S. virgata biomass than the presence of a single metal, S. virgata tolerated and stabilized high concentrations of Cu, Zn and Cr. In view of this tolerance, S. virgata is excellent specie to be used for heavy metals phytostabilization in contaminated soils.