An outdoor pot experiment was designed to study the potential of poplar (Populus nigra 'Italica') in phytoremediation of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb). Poplar was treated with a combination of different concentrations of Cd (w = 10, 25, 50mgkg−1 soil) and Pb (400, 800, 1200mgkg−1 soil) and several physiological and biochemical parameters were monitored including the accumulation and distribution of metals in different plant parts (leaf, stem, root). Simultaneously, the changes in the antioxidant system in roots and leaves were monitored to be able to follow synergistic effects of both heavy metals. Moreover, a statistical analysis based on the Random Forests Analysis (RFA) was performed in order to determine the most important predictors affecting growth and antioxidative machinery activities of poplar under heavy metal stress. The study demonstrated that tested poplar could be a good candidate for phytoextraction processes of Cd in moderately contaminated soils, while in heavily contaminated soil it could be only considered as a phytostabilisator. For Pb remediation only phytostabilisation process could be considered. By using RFA we pointed out that it is important to conduct the experiments in an outdoor space and include environmental conditions in order to study more realistic changes of growth parameters and accumulation and distribution of heavy metals. Also, to be able to better understand the interactions among previously mentioned parameters, it is important to conduct the experiments during prolonged time exposure., This is especially important for the long life cycle woody species.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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