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Salicaceae Establishment in a Heavy Metal-contaminated Site Revealed by Eco-physiological Characterization of the Culturable Soil Bacterial Fraction


The polluted site object of our study was located on an island nourished using different materials, including industrial by-products, inside the area of Porto Marghera (Venice Lagoon, Italy). Until the 1970s, this area was one of the most important chemical districts in Italy and was largely subjected to heavy metals and metalloids pollution. In the year 2004, some Populus and Salix spp. had been planted in this polluted site in order to investigate both the hydrological control and the phytoremediation capability of these trees. In the present work, polluted soil was analyzed at different depths for both metals content and culturable microbial communities with the aim to evaluate the establishment of previously planted poplar and willow plants. Bacteria were characterized on the basis of the r/K-strategists distribution since r-strategists (fast-growing bacteria) and K-strategists (slow-growing bacteria) are characteristic for unstable and stable environments, respectively. A better characterization of bacterial communities composition was obtained from colony development and eco-physiological indices. Results appeared to confirm a good establishment of poplar and willow plants in the heavy metal contaminated site.

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Correspondence to D. Lippi.

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De Paolis, M.R., Pietrosanti, L., Capotorti, G. et al. Salicaceae Establishment in a Heavy Metal-contaminated Site Revealed by Eco-physiological Characterization of the Culturable Soil Bacterial Fraction. Water Air Soil Pollut 216, 505–512 (2011).

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  • Culturable bacteria
  • Eco-physiological index
  • Heavy metals
  • Phytoremediation
  • r/K-strategists