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Comparative of Quercus spp. and Salix spp. for phytoremediation of Pb/Zn mine tailings

Shi, Xiang, Wang, Shufeng, Sun, Haijing, Chen, Yitai, Wang, Dongxue, Pan, Hongwei, Zou, Yazhu, Liu, Jianfeng, Zheng, Linyu, Zhao, Xiulian, Jiang, Zeping
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.4 pp. 3400-3411
Quercus, Salix, cadmium, heavy metals, lead, mine tailings, photochemistry, photosystem II, phytoremediation, root systems, seedlings, temperate zones, trees, zinc, China
A pot experiment was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using tree seedlings for the phytoremediation of lead/zinc (Pb/Zn) mine tailings. Seedlings of three Quercus spp. (Q. shumardii, Q. phellos, and Q. virginiana) and rooted cuttings of two Salix spp. (S. matsudana and S. integra) were transplanted into pots containing 50 and 100 % Pb/Zn mine tailings to evaluate their tolerance of heavy metals. The five species showed different tolerance levels to the Pb/Zn tailings treatments. Q. virginiana was highly tolerant to heavy metals and grew normally in the Pb/Zn tailings. The root systems showed marked differences between the Quercus spp. and Salix spp., indicating that different mechanisms operated to confer tolerance of heavy metals. The maximum efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry value of the five species showed no differences among the treatments, except for Q. shumardii. All species showed low metal translocation factors (TFs). However, S. integra had significantly higher TF values for Zn (1.42–2.18) and cadmium (1.03–1.45) than did the other species. In this respect, Q. virginiana showed the highest tolerance and a low TF, implying that it is a candidate for phytostabilization of mine tailings in southern China. S. integra may be useful for phytoextraction of tailings in temperate regions.