, 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

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


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.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.