Tidal flat elevation in the estuarine wetland determines the tidal flooding time and flooding frequency, which will inevitably affect the formation of iron plaque and accumulations of heavy metals (HMs) in wetland plants. The present study investigated the formation of iron plaque and HM's (copper, zinc, lead, and chromium) accumulation in S. alterniflora, a typical estuarine wetland species, at different tidal flat elevations (low, middle and high) in filed and at different time (3, 6, 9, 12 h per day) of waterlogging treatment in greenhouse conditions. Results showed that the accumulation of copper, zinc, lead, and chromium in S. alterniflora was proportional to the exchangeable fraction of these metals in the sediments, which generally increased with the increase of waterlogging time, whereas the formations of iron plaque in roots decreased with the increase of waterlogging time. Under field conditions, the uptake of copper and zinc in the different parts of the plants generally increased with the tidal levels despite the decrease in the metals’ exchangeable fraction with increasing tidal levels. The formation of iron plaque was found to be highest in the middle tidal positions and significantly lower in low and high tidal positions. Longer waterlogging time increased the metals’ accumulation but decreased the formation of iron plaque in S. alterniflora. The binding of metal ions on iron plaque helped impede the uptake and accumulation of copper and chromium in S. alterniflora.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: May 30, 2018
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