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      Phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated soils by Rorippa globosa using two-phase planting.

      Environmental Science and Pollution Research International

      Biodegradation, Environmental, Biomass, Cadmium, metabolism, Rorippa, Soil Pollutants, Spectrophotometry, Atomic

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          Phytoextraction of contaminated soils by heavy metals can provide a great promise of commercial development. Although there are more than 400 species of hyperaccumulators found in the world, phytoremediation technology is rarely applied in field practice for remedying contaminated soils, partially due to low biomass and long growth duration for most of discovered hyperaccumulating plants. In order to enhance the metal-removing efficiency in a year, the two-phase planting countermeasure of phytoextraction by harvesting anthesis biomass was investigated on the basis of the newly found Cd-hyperaccumulator Rorippa globosa (Turcz.) Thell. with 107.0 and 150.1 mg/kg of the Cd accumulation in stems and leaves, respectively, when soil Cd added was concentrated to 25.0 mg/kg. The field pot-culture experiment was used to observe the distribution property of R. globosa aboveground biomass and to examine characteristics of accumulating Cd by the plant at different growth stages. The concentration of Cd in plants and soils was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The results indicated that the total dry stem and leaf biomass of R. globosa harvested at the flowering phase was up to 92.3% of that at its full maturity and the concentration of Cd in stems and leaves harvested at the flowering phase was up to 73.8% and 87.7% of that at the mature phase, respectively. The Cd-removing ratio by shoots of R. globosa harvested at the flowering phase was up to 71.4% of that at the mature phase. It was also found, by observing the growth duration of R. globosa, that the frostless period at the experiment site was twice as long as the growth time from the seedling-transplanted phase to the flowering phase of the hyperaccumulator. R. globosa could be transplanted into contaminated soils twice in one year by harvesting the hyperaccumulator at its flowering phase based on climatic conditions of the site and traits of the plant growth. In this sense, the extraction efficiency of Cd in shoots of R. globosa increased 42.8% compared to that of at its single maturity when the plant was transplanted into contaminated soils after it had been harvested at its flowering phase and the plant accumulated Cd from soil at the same extraction ratio at its second flowering phase. Thus, the method of anthesis biomass regulation by the two-phase planting is very significant to increase the Cd-removing efficiency by phytoremediation used in practice over the course of a year. As for some hyperaccumulators that the growth duration from the seedling-transplanted phase to the flowering phase are short and the concentrations of heavy metals accumulated in their shoots at the flowering phase are high, the efficiency of phytoremediation can greatly be improved using the method of the two-phase planting.

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