Plant and Soil

, Volume 209, Issue 2, pp 225–232

The uptake of copper by plants dominantly growing on copper mining spoils along the Yangtze River, the People's Republic of China

  • Shirong Tang
  • B.-M. Wilke
  • Changyong Huang

DOI: 10.1023/A:1004599715411

Cite this article as:
Tang, S., Wilke, BM. & Huang, C. Plant and Soil (1999) 209: 225. doi:10.1023/A:1004599715411


Elsholtzia haichowensis Sun., Commelina communis Linn., and Rumex acetosa Linn. are the dominant species that vastly grow over the copper mining spoil heaps and copper-contaminated soil of the areas along the middle and lower streams of the Yangtze River. Each has its own ecological habits. Chemical analytical data show that these plants can accumulate copper to various extents, depending on the copper content of the supporting soils and plant species. The highest concentration copper was found in R. acetosa with the leaf copper concentration ranging from 340 to 1102 mg/kg and averaging 601 mg/kg (dry weight basis). C. communis also contained high copper concentration in its leaves ranging from 19 to 587 mg/kg and averaging 157 mg/kg. E. haichowensis has the lowest copper concentration in its leaves from 18 to 391 mg/kg and averaging 102 mg/kg. The copper content of the soils supporting all the species varies to a great extent from place to place. All these lines of evidence suggest that E. haichowensis, C. communis, and R. acetosa can serve as pioneer species for reclamation of copper mined land and can be used as model plants for investigation of plant tolerance mechanisms, and geochemical prospecting.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirong Tang
    • 1
  • B.-M. Wilke
    • 2
  • Changyong Huang
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Nuclear-Agricultural SciencesZhejiang University, Huajachi, HangzhouZhejiangP.R. China FAX No
  2. 2.Institut Fur LandschaftsbauTechnische Universitat BerlinBerlin
  3. 3.Department of Soil SciencesZhejiang University, Huajachi, HangzhouZhejiangP.R. China