Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Phytoremediation ability of naturally growing plant species on the electroplating wastewater-contaminated site

  • 38 Accesses


The presence of heavy metal in soil and water resources has serious impact on human health. The study was designed to examine the phytoremediation ability of plant species that are growing naturally on the Zn-contaminated site. For the study, six plant species and their rhizospheric soil as well as non-rhizospheric soil samples were collected from different parts of the industrial sites for chemical and biological characterization. Visual observations and highest importance value index (IVI) through biodiversity study revealed potential plants as effective ecological tools for the restoration of the contaminated site. Among the plants, almost all were the most efficient in accumulating Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn in its shoots and roots, while Cynodon dactylon, Chloris virgata and Desmostachya bipinnata were found to be stabilizing Cr, Pb and Cd (bioconcentration factor in root = 7.95, 6.28 and 1.98 as well as translocation factor = 0.48, 0.46 and 0.78), respectively. Thus, the results of this study showed that the naturally growing plant species have phytoremediation potential to remediate the electroplating wastewater-contaminated site. These plant species are successful phytoremediators with their efficient metal stabilizing and well-evolved tolerance to heavy metal toxicity.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1: (a–g)


  1. Akguc, N., Ozyiğit, I. I., & Yarcı, C. (2008). Pyracantha coccinea Roem. (Rosaceae) as a biomonitor for Cd, Pb and Zn in Mugla Province (Turkey). Pakistan Journal of Botany,40(4), 1767–1776.

  2. Alloway, B. J., Jackson, A. P., & Morgan, H. (1990). The accumulation of cadmium by vegetables grown on soils contaminated from a variety of sources. Science of the Total Environment,91, 223–236.

  3. Berman, E. (1980). Toxic metals and their analysis. London: Heyden.

  4. Burrell, C. D. (1974). Atomic spectrometric analysis of heavy metal pollutants in water. Ann Arbor, MI: Ann. Arber Science Publishers.

  5. Cao, X., Ma, L. Q., Chen, M., Singh, S. P., & Harris, W. G. (2002). Impacts of phosphate amendments on lead biogeochemistry in a contaminated site. Environmental Science and Technology,36, 5296–5304.

  6. Casida, L. E., Klein, D. A., & Santoro, T. (1964). Soil dehydrogenase activity. Soil Science,98, 371–376.

  7. Chauhan, S., & Ganguly, A. (2011). Standardizing rehabilitation protocol using revegetation cover for bauxite waste (red mud) in eastern India. Ecological Engineering,37, 504–510.

  8. Cunningham, S. D., & Ow, D. W. (1996). Promises of phytoremediation. Plant Physiology,110(3), 715–719.

  9. Curtis, J. T. (1959). The vegetation of Wisconsin. An ordination of plant communities. University of Wisconsin Press Madison WI, 657.

  10. Delhaize, A. (1996). A metal accumulator mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology,111(3), 849–855.

  11. Drew, A. P., Guth, R. L., & Greatbatch, W. (1987). Variation in heavy metal accumulation by hybrid poplar clones on sludge amended soil. Poplar culture to the year 2000. In Proceedings of the poplar councils of the USA and Canada Joint Meeting (pp. 109–117).

  12. Eivazi, F., & Tabatabai, M. A. (1977). Phosphatases in soils. Soil Biology & Biochemistry,9, 167–172.

  13. Fitzgerald, E. J., Caffrey, J. M., Nesaratnam, S. T., & McLoughlin, P. (2003). Copper and lead concentrations in salt marsh plants on the Suir Estuary, Ireland. Environmental Pollution,123(1), 67–74.

  14. Gautam, M., Pandey, B., & Agrawal, M. (2018). Identification of indicator species at abandoned red mud dumps in comparison to residential and forest sites, accredited to soil properties. Ecological Indicators,88, 88–102.

  15. Hart, J. J., Welch, R. M., Norvell, W. A., Clarke, J. M., & Kochian, L. V. (2005). Zinc effects on cadmium accumulation and partitioning in near-isogenic lines of durum wheat that differ in grain cadmium concentration. New Phytologist,167, 391–401.

  16. Hassan, Z., Anwar, Z., Khattak, K. U., Islam, M., Khan, R. U., & Khattak, J. Z. K. (2012). Civic pollution and its effect on water quality of River Toi at DisrrictKohat, NWFP. Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences,4, 5.

  17. Huseyinova, R., Kutbay, H. G., Bilgin, A., Kılıc, D., Horuz, A., & Kirmanoglu, C. (2009). Sulphur and some heavy metal contents in foliage of corylusavellana and some roadside native plants in Ordu Province, Turkey. Ekoloji,18(70), 10–16.

  18. Jackson, M. L. (1958). Soil chemical. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

  19. Joshi, A., & Jaiswal, P. (2013). Micro organisms living in zinc contaminated soil—A review. Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences,6(2), 67–72.

  20. Khan, M. S., Zaidi, A., & Wani, P. A. (2006). Role of phosphate solubilizing microorganisms in sustainable agriculture—A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development,26, 1–15.

  21. Maiti, S. K., & Jaiswal, S. (2008). Bioaccumulation and translocation of metals in the natural vegetation growing on fly ash lagoons: a field study from Santaldih thermal power plant, West Bengal, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment,136, 355–370.

  22. Mengel, K., & Kirkby, E. A. (2001). Principles of plant nutrition (5th ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  23. Mirzakhaninafchi, H., Mishra, I. M., & Mirzakhaninafchi, A. (2017). Study on soil nitrogen and electrical conductivity relationship for site specific nitrogen application. Washington: ASABE Meeting.

  24. Mishra, T., Pandey, V. C., Singh, P., Singh, N. B., & Singh, N. (2017). Assessment of phytoremediation potential of native grass species growing on red mud deposits. Journal of Geochemical Exploration,182, 206–209.

  25. Mishra, T., Singh, N. B., & Singh, N. (2016). Restoration of red mud deposits by naturally growing vegetation. International Jouranl of Phytoremediation,19(5), 439–445.

  26. Nouri, J., Khorasani, N., Lorestani, B., Karami, M., Hassani, A. H., & Yousefi, N. (2009). Accumulation of heavy metals in soil and uptake by plant species with phytoremediation potential. Environmental Earth Science,59, 315–323.

  27. Olsen, S., Watanabe, F. S., & Bowman, R. A. (1983). Evaluation of fertilizer phosphate residues by plant uptake and extractable phosphorus. Soil Science Society of America Journal,47, 952–958.

  28. Pandey, V. C. (2012). Invasive species based efficient green technology for phytoremediation of fly ash deposits. Journal of Geochemical Exploration,123, 13–18.

  29. Pandey, V. C. (2013). Suitability of Ricinuscommunis L. cultivation for phytoremediationof fly ash disposal sites. Ecological Engineering,57, 336–341.

  30. Pandey, V. C., & Mishra, T. (2018). Assessment of Ziziphus mauritiana grown on fly ash dumps: prospects for phytoremediation but concerns with the use of edible fruit. International Journal of Phytoremediation,20(12), 1250–1256.

  31. Pandey, V. C., Pandey, D. N., & Singh, N. (2015a). Sustainable phytoremediation based on naturally colonizing and economically valuable plants. Journal of Cleaner Production,86, 37–39.

  32. Pandey, V. C., Prakash, P., Bajpai, O., Kumar, A., & Singh, N. (2015b). Phytodiversity on fly ash deposits: evaluation of naturally colonized species for sustainable phytorestoration. Environmental Science and Pollution Research,22, 2776–2787.

  33. Pandey, V. C., & Singh, B. (2012). Rehabilitation of coal fly ash basins: Current need to use ecological engineering. Ecological Engineering,49, 190–192.

  34. Pandey, V. C., & Singh, N. (2014). Fast green capping on coal fly ash basins through ecological engineering. Ecological Engineering,73, 671–675.

  35. Pandey, V. C., Singh, K., Singh, R. P., & Singh, B. (2012). Naturally growing Saccharum munja on the fly ash lagoons: A potential ecological engineer for the revegetation and stabilization. Ecological Engineering,40, 95–99.

  36. Praveen, A., Mehrotra, S., & Singh, N. (2017). Rice planted along with accumulators in arsenic amended plots reduced arsenic uptake in grains and shoots. Chemosphere,184, 1327–1333.

  37. Praveen, A., Mehrotra, S., & Singh, N. (2019a). Mixed plantation of wheat and accumulators in arsenic contaminated plots: a novel way to reduce the uptake of arsenic in wheat and load on antioxidative defence of plant. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety,182, 109462.

  38. Praveen, A., Pandey, V. C., Mehrotra, S., & Singh, N. (2019b). Arsenic accumulation in Canna: Effect on antioxidative defense system. Applied Geochemistry,108, 104360.

  39. Qadir, M., Oster, J. D., Schubert, S., Nobel, A. D., & Sahrawat, K. L. (2007). Phytoremediation of sodic and saline sodic soils. Advances in Agronomy,96, 197–247.

  40. Shu, W. S., Ye, Z. H., Lan, C. Y., Zhang, Z. Q., & Wong, M. H. (2002). Lead, zinc and copper accumulation and tolerance in populations of Paspalumdistichum and Cynodondactylon. Environmental Pollution,120, 445–453.

  41. Singh, A. (2011). Vascular flora on coal mine spoils of Singrauli coalfields, India. Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment,3(9), 309–318.

  42. Singh, K., Pandey, V. C., & Singh, R. P. (2013). Cynodon dactylon: An efficient perennial grass to revegetate sodic lands. Ecological Engineering,54, 32–38.

  43. Singh, A. K., Rai, A., Banyal, R., Chauhan, P. S., & Singh, N. (2018). Plant community regulates soil multifunctionality in a tropical dry forest. Ecological Indicators,95, 953–963.

  44. Stoltz, E., & Greger, M. (2002). Accumulation properties of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn by four wetland plant species growing on submerged mine tailings. Environmental and Experimental Botany,47, 271–280.

  45. Verma, S. K., Singh, K., Gupta, A. K., Pandey, V. C., Trevedi, P., Verma, S. K., et al. (2014). Aromatic grasses for phytomanagement of coal fly ash hazards. Ecological Engineering,73, 425–428.

  46. Walkley, A., & Black, I. A. (1934). An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of chromic acid titration method. Soil Science,37, 29–38.

  47. Ye, Z. H., Whiting, S. N., Lin, Z. Q., Lytle, C. M., Qian, J. H., & Terry, N. (2001). Removal and distribution of iron, manganese, cobalt and nickel within a Pennsylvania constructed wetland treating coal combustion by-product leachate. Journal of Environmental Quality,30, 1464–1473.

  48. Yoon, J., Cao, X., Zhou, Q., & Ma, L. Q. (2006). Accumulation of Pb, Cu, and Zn in native plants growing on a contaminated Florida site. Science of the Total Environment,368, 456–464.

Download references


Tripti Mishra is thankful to the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India, for the financial assistance in the form of DST-INSPIRE SRF Fellowship. The author also extends his regard to Dr. Arun kushwaha, CSIR-NBRI, for helping out in biodiversity study and identification of plant species. Financial assistance given to Dr. Vimal Chandra Pandey as Senior Research Associate (CSIR-Pool Scientist) under Scientist’s Pool Scheme (Pool No. 13 (8931-A)/2017) by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India, New Delhi, is gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Correspondence to Vimal Chandra Pandey.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mishra, T., Pandey, V.C., Praveen, A. et al. Phytoremediation ability of naturally growing plant species on the electroplating wastewater-contaminated site. Environ Geochem Health (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-020-00529-y

Download citation


  • Zinc sludge
  • Revegetation
  • Plant community structure