Lead transfer into the vegetation layer growing naturally in a Pb-contaminated site
The lead was one of the main elements in the glazes used to colour ceramic tiles. Due to its presence, ceramic sludge has been a source of environmental pollution since this dangerous waste has been often spread into the soil without any measures of pollution control. These contaminated sites are often located close to industrial sites in the peri-urban areas, thus representing a considerable hazard to the human and ecosystem health. In this study, we investigated the lead transfer into the vegetation layer (Phragmites australis, Salix alba and Sambucus nigra) growing naturally along a Pb-contaminated ditch bank. The analysis showed a different lead accumulation among the species and their plant tissues. Salix trees were not affected by the Pb contamination, possibly because their roots mainly develop below the contaminated deposit. Differently, Sambucus accumulated high concentrations of lead in all plant tissues and fruits, representing a potential source of biomagnification. Phragmites accumulated large amounts of lead in the rhizomes and, considering its homogeneous distribution on the site, was used to map the contamination. Analysing the Pb concentration within plant tissues, we got at the same time information about the spread, the history of the contamination and the relative risks. Finally, we discussed the role of natural recolonizing plants for the soil pollution mitigation and their capacity on decreasing soil erosion and water run-off.
KeywordsPb Soil contamination Phytoscreening Plant uptake Pollution spread Environmental risk
The authors acknowledge Dr. Sara Passeri, the staff of the northern district of the ARPA Umbria, and Ing. Andrea Sconocchia for the technical support, Dr. Diego Giuliarelli for the map designing and realization, Dr. Rosita Marabottini for the chemical analysis of plant and soil samples and Dr. Elena Kuzminsky for the scientific support.
- Ahmad, S. S., Reshi, Z. A., Shah, M. A., & Rashid, I. (2016). Constructed wetlands: Role in phytoremediation of heavy metals. In A. Ansari, S. Gill, R. Gill, G. Lanza, & L. Newman (Eds.), Phytoremediation (pp. 291–304). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40148-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bernardini, A., Salvatori, E., Guerrini, V., Fusaro, L., Canepari, S., & Manes, F. (2015). Effects of high Zn and Pb concentrations on Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex. Steudel: Photosynthetic performance and metal accumulation capacity under controlled conditions. International Journal of Phytoremediation. https://doi.org/10.1080/15226514.2015.1058327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- European Commission. (2007). Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European parliament and of the council of 18 December 2006. Official Journal of the European Committee, (L136) (pp. 3–280). http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:396:0001:0849:EN:PDF. Accessed 15 Jan 2019.
- European Commission. (2013). Soil contamination: Impacts on human health. Science for Environmental Policy, 5, 1–29.Google Scholar
- European Commission. (2016). Soil threats in Europe: Status, methods, drivers and effects on ecosystem services. In J. Stolte, M. Tesfai, J. Keizer, L. Øygarden, S. Kværnø, F. Verheijen, et al. (Eds.), JRC scientific and technical reports (EUR 27607.). Luxembourg: European Union. https://doi.org/10.2788/828742.
- FAO, I. (2015). Status of the world’s soil resources: Main report. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils. ISBN 978-92-5-109004-6.Google Scholar
- Lanphear, B. P., Hornung, R., Khoury, J., Yolton, K., Baghurst, P., Bellinger, D. C., et al. (2005). Low-level environmental lead exposure and children’s intellectual function: An international pooled analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113(7), 894–899. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.7688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Marchiol, L., Fellet, G., Boscutti, F., Montella, C., Mozzi, R., & Guarino, C. (2013). Gentle remediation at the former “Pertusola Sud” zinc smelter: Evaluation of native species for phytoremediation purposes. Ecological Engineering, 53, 343–353. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.12.072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pourrut, B., Shahid, M., Douay, F., Dumat, C., & Pinelli, E. (2013). Molecular mechanisms involved in lead uptake, toxicity and detoxification in higher plants. In D. Gupta, F. Corpas, & J. Palma (Eds.), Heavy metal stress in plants (pp. 121–147). Berlin: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-38469-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rotkittikhun, P., Kruatrachue, M., Chaiyarat, R., Ngernsansaruay, C., Pokethitiyook, P., Paijitprapaporn, A., et al. (2006). Uptake and accumulation of lead by plants from the Bo Ngam lead mine area in Thailand. Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex: 1987), 144(2), 681–688. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2005.12.039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thakur, S., Singh, L., Wahid, Z. A., Siddiqui, M. F., Atnaw, S. M., & Din, M. F. M. (2016). Plant-driven removal of heavy metals from soil: Uptake, translocation, tolerance mechanism, challenges, and future perspectives. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-016-5211-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tlustoš, P., Száková, J., Vysloužilová, M., Pavlíková, D., Weger, J., & Javorská, H. (2007). Variation in the uptake of Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Zinc by different species of willows Salix spp. grown in contaminated soils. Central European Journal of Biology, 2(2), 254–275. https://doi.org/10.2478/s11535-007-0012-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Walraven, N., Bakker, M., Vanos, B., Klaver, G., Middelburg, J. J., & Davies, G. (2016). Pollution and oral bioaccessibility of pb in soils of villages and cities with a long habitation history. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13020221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- WHO. (2009). Global health risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GlobalHealthRisks_report_full.pdf. Accessed 23 July 2019.
- Windham, L., Weis, J. S., & Weis, P. (2001). Lead uptake, distribution, and effects in two dominant salt marsh macrophytes, Spartina alterniflora (Cordgrass) and Phragmites australis (Common Reed). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 42(10), 811–816. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0025-326X(00)00224-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wullschleger, S. D., Epstein, H. E., Box, E. O., Euskirchen, E. S., Goswami, S., Iversen, C. M., et al. (2014). Plant functional types in Earth system models: Past experiences and future directions for application of dynamic vegetation models in high-latitude ecosystems. Annals of Botany, 114, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcu077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Yan, W., Mahmood, Q., Peng, D., Fu, W., Chen, T., Wang, Y., et al. (2015). The spatial distribution pattern of heavy metals and risk assessment of moso bamboo forest soil around lead-zinc mine in Southeastern China. Soil and Tillage Research, 153, 120–130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2015.05.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar