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Phytoextraction of rare earth elements in herbaceous plant species growing close to roads

Mikołajczak, Patrycja, Borowiak, Klaudia, Niedzielski, Przemysław
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.16 pp. 14091-14103
Achillea millefolium, Artemisia vulgaris, Papaver rhoeas, Taraxacum officinale, Tripleurospermum perforatum, herbaceous plants, leaves, phytoremediation, plant organs, rare earth elements, roads, root systems, roots, soil, stems, traffic
The aim of study was to determine the phytoextraction of rare earth elements (REEs) to roots, stems and leaves of five herbaceous plant species (Achillea millefolium L., Artemisia vulgaris L., Papaver rhoeas L., Taraxacum officinale AND Tripleurospermum inodorum), growing in four areas located in close proximity to a road with varied traffic intensity. Additionally, the relationship between road traffic intensity, REE concentration in soil and the content of these elements in plant organs was estimated. A. vulgaris and P. rhoeas were able to effectively transport REEs in their leaves, independently of area collection. The highest content of REEs was observed in P. rhoeas leaves and T. inodorum roots. Generally, HREEs were accumulated in P. rhoeas roots and leaves and also in the stems of T. inodorum and T. officinale, whereas LREEs were accumulated in T. inodorum roots and T. officinale stems. It is worth underlining that there was a clear relationship between road traffic intensity and REE, HREE and LREE concentration in soil. No positive correlation was found between the concentration of these elements in soil and their content in plants, with the exception of T. officinale. An effective transport of REEs from the root system to leaves was observed, what points to the possible ability of some of the tested plant species to remove REEs from soils near roads.