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Distribution characteristics of Cd in different types of leaves of Festuca arundinacea intercropped with Cicer arietinum L.: A new strategy to remove pollutants by harvesting senescent and dead leaves

Luo, Jie, He, Wenxiang, Rinklebe, Jörg, Igalavithana, Avanthi Deshani, Tack, Filip M.G., Ok, Yong Sik
Environmental research 2019
Cicer arietinum, Festuca arundinacea, biomass production, cadmium, cost effectiveness, harvesting, intercropping, leaves, phytoremediation, pollutants, pollution, soil, China
Although cost-effective, phytoremediation is too expensive when considering the large-scale pollution. Relative to harvesting the whole plant, it is more practicable to remove and dispose of senescent and dead leaves after phytoremediation. The phytoremediation efficiency of Festuca arundinacea for Cd was evaluated in this study, because over about 7% of the land area in China was contaminated with Cd. The accumulation, redistribution, and extraction of Cd were evaluated in different leaves of F. arundinacea intercropped with N-fixing species at different densities (Cicer arietinum L). The results showed that coordinate and malposed intercropping systems increased the dry weight of the senescent and dead leaves of F. arundinacea by 30–41% and 103–168% compared to the monoculture system, respectively. More Cd was redistributed to the senescent and dead leaves of F. arundinacea under both intercropping systems. Occupying only 22–30% of the total leaf biomass, senescent and dead leaves accumulated 74–88% of leaf Cd under different cultivation conditions. Relative to the monoculture system, intercropping decreased the amount of time needed to reduce soil Cd by 44–53%. The biomass production and Cd accumulation of F. arundinacea were higher in the malposed intercropping system, and it had higher remediation efficiency than the coordinate intercropping system. This study demonstrated that intercropping, especially malposed intercropping of F. arundinacea and C. arietinum L., is a practicable technology for leaf harvesting phytoremediation.