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Effect of petroleum hydrocarbons in copper phytoremediation by a salt marsh plant (Juncus maritimus) and the role of autochthonous bioaugmentation

Montenegro, I. P. F. M., Mucha, A. P., Reis, I., Rodrigues, P., Almeida, C. M. R.
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.19 pp. 19471-19480
Juncus maritimus, bioaugmentation, bioavailability, copper, estuaries, hydrocarbons, petroleum, phytoremediation, roots, salt marsh plants, sediment contamination, sediments
This work aimed to investigate, under controlled but environmental relevant conditions, the effects of the presence of both inorganic and organic contaminants (copper and petroleum hydrocarbons) on phytoremediation potential of the salt marsh plant Juncus maritimus. Moreover, bioaugmentation, with an autochthonous microbial consortium (AMC) resistant to Cu, was tested, aiming an increase in the remediation potential of this plant in the presence of a co-contamination. Salt marsh plants with sediment attached to their roots were collected, placed in vessels, and kept in greenhouses, under tidal simulation. Sediments were contaminated with Cu and petroleum, and the AMC was added to half of the vessels. After 5 months, plants accumulated significant amounts of Cu but only in belowground structures. The amount of Cu was even higher in the presence of petroleum. AMC addition increased Cu accumulation in belowground tissues, despite decreasing Cu bioavailability, promoting J. maritimus phytostabilization potential. Therefore, J. maritimus has potential to phytoremediate co-contaminated sediments, and autochthonous bioaugmentation can be a valuable strategy for the recovery and management of moderately impacted estuaries. This approach can contribute for a sustainable use of the environmental resources. Graphical abstract ᅟ