Individual and combined effects of cadmium and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the phytoremediation potential of Xanthium sibiricum in co-contaminated soil.

Research paper by Nasreen N Jeelani, Wen W Yang, Yajun Y Qiao, Jingjing J Li, Shuqing S An, Xin X Leng

Indexed on: 19 May '18Published on: 19 May '18Published in: International journal of phytoremediation


Soil contamination with heavy metals and organic pollutants continues to cause major ecological damage and human health problems. Phytoremediation offers a highly promising technology for the recovery of sites contaminated with mixed pollutants. In this study, we performed a greenhouse experiment to investigate the individual and combined effects of cadmium (Cd) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination on the growth of Xanthium sibiricum, and also the ability of this species to accumulate and remove Cd and to reduce PAHs over a period of 75 days. Our results demonstrated that individual or combined contamination by Cd and PAHs showed no significant differences to the control treatment except in the high Cd treatment. The reduction of PAH concentration in the soil with the passage of time was similar in the presence or absence of plants. At higher levels of Cd, the removal of pyrene decreased in both planted and non-planted soils; however, this effect might be due to the higher Cd content. Soil dehydrogenase and polyphenol oxidase activities showed that soil contamination did not have a significant effect on the removal of PAHs. Overall, our results suggest that X. sibiricum might be a suitable species for use in the phytoremediation of contaminated soils.