Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 2383–2394 | Cite as

Uptake and accumulation of potentially toxic elements in colonized plant species around the world’s largest antimony mine area, China

  • Jiumei Long
  • Di Tan
  • Sihan Deng
  • Ming LeiEmail author
Original Paper


To provide information on reclamation of multi-heavy metal polluted soils with conception of phytostabilization, a field survey on the uptake and accumulation of potentially toxic elements such as antimony (Sb), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in colonized plant species around the world’s largest antimony mine area, China, was conducted. Samples including leaves and shoots (including roots and stems) of colonized plants as well as rhizospheric soils were collected from eight sampling zones in the studied area. The results showed that the contents of Cu, Zn, and Pb in rhizospheric soils below plants were comparable to the corresponding background values of Hunan province, otherwise Sb, Cd, and As contents were extremely high (17–106, 17–87, and 3–7 times of the corresponding background values). The highest concentration of Sb was found in Aster subulatus (410 mg kg−1); Cd, As, and Zn were in Herba bidentis bipinnatae (10.9, 264, and 265 mg kg−1, respectively); and Cu was in Artemisia lavandulaefolia (27.1 mg kg−1). It also exhibited that all the contents of As in leaves were several times of those in shoots of plants, Cd and other heavy metals showed in a similar pattern in several studied species, implying that the uptake route of these heavy metals via foliar might contribute to the accumulation. With high bioconcentration factors of heavy metals (more than 1, except for Zn), together with the growth abundance, Herba bidentis bipinnatae was considered as the most suitable colonized species for phytostabilization of the multi-heavy metal pollution in soils on this antimony mine area.


Multi-heavy metal pollution Potentially toxic elements Phytostabilization Heavy metal tolerance Bioconcentration Biodistribution 



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (41671475); Environmental Protection Department of Hunan Province (Xiangcai jianzhi (2016) 59); Education Department of Hunan Foundation (16C0225); and the Science Foundation of Heng Yang Normal University (15A03).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Life Sciences and EnvironmentHengyang Normal UniversityHengyangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Rural Ecosystem Health in Dongting Lake Area, College of Bioscience and BiotechnologyHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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