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Phytoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated saline-alkali soil by wild ornamental Iridaceae species

Cheng, Lijuan, Wang, Yanan, Cai, Zhang, Liu, Jie, Yu, Binbin, Zhou, Qixing
International journal of phytoremediation 2017 v.19 no.3 pp. 300-308
Iris lactea, aromatic compounds, bacterial communities, biodegradability, hydrocarbons, oil fields, petroleum, phytoremediation, polluted soils, pot culture, China
As a green remediation technology, phytoremediation is becoming one of the most promising methods for treating petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs)-contaminated soil. Pot culture experiments were conducted in this study to investigate phytoremediation potential of two representative Iridaceae species (Iris dichotoma Pall. and Iris lactea Pall.) in remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated saline-alkali soil from the Dagang Oilfield in Tianjin, China. The results showed that I. lactea was more endurable to extremely high concentration of PHCs (about 40,000 mg/kg), with a relatively high degradation rate of 20.68%.The degradation rate of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) in soils contaminated with 10,000 and 20,000 mg/kg of PHCs was 30.79% and 19.36% by I. dichotoma , and 25.02% and 19.35% by I. lactea , respectively, which improved by 10–60% than the unplanted controls. The presence of I. dichotoma and I. lactea promoted degradation of PHCs fractions, among which saturates were more biodegradable than aromatics. Adaptive specialization was observed within the bacterial community. In conclusion, phytoremediation by I. dichotoma should be limited to soils contaminated with ≤20,000 mg/kg of PHCs, while I. lactea could be effectively applied to phytoremediation of contaminated soils by PHCs with at least 40,000 mg/kg.