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Growth, physiology, and phytoextraction potential of poplar and willow established in soils amended with heavy-metal contaminated, dredged river sediments.

Research paper by Andrej A Pilipović, Ronald S RS Zalesny, Srđan S Rončević, Nataša N Nikolić, Saša S Orlović, Jelena J Beljin, Marina M Katanić

Indexed on: 28 May '19Published on: 29 Mar '19Published in: Journal of Environmental Management



Abstract

Phytotechnologies have been used worldwide to remediate and restore damaged ecosystems, especially those caused by industrial byproducts leaching into rivers and other waterways. The objective of this study was to test the growth, physiology, and phytoextraction potential of poplar and willow established in soils amended with heavy-metal contaminated, dredged river sediments from the Great Bačka Canal near Vrbas City, Serbia. The sediments were applied to greenhouse-grown trees of Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh. clone 'Bora' and Salix viminalis L. clone 'SV068'. Individual pots with trees previously grown for two months were amended with 0, 0.5 and 1.0 kg of sediment containing 400 mg Cr kg, 295 mg Cu kg, 465 mg Zn kg, 124 mg Ni kg, 1.87 mg Cd kg, and 61 mg Pb kg. Following amendment, trees were grown for two seasons (i.e., 2014, 2015), with coppicing after the first season. In addition to growth parameters, physiological traits related to the photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism were assessed during both growing seasons. At the end of the study, trees were harvested for biomass analysis and accumulation of heavy metals in tree tissues and soils. Application of sediment decreased aboveground biomass by 37.3% in 2014, but increased height (16.4%) and leaf area (19.2%) in 2015. Sediment application negatively impacted the content of pigments and nitrate reductase activity, causing them to decrease over time. Generally, the effect of treatments on growth was more pronounced in poplars, while willows had more pronounced physiological activity. Accumulation patterns were similar to previously-published results. In particular, Zn and Cd were mostly accumulated in leaves of both poplar and willow, which indicated successful phytoextraction. In contrast, other metals (e.g., Cr, Ni, Pb, Cu) were mostly phytostabilized in the roots. Differences in metal allocation between poplar and willow were recorded only for Cu, while other metals followed similar distribution patterns in both genera. Results of this study indicated that the composition of heavy metals in the sediments determined the mechanisms of the applied phytoremediation technique. Published by Elsevier Ltd.