Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 223, Issue 2, pp 877–888 | Cite as

Potential of Aquatic Macrophytes as Bioindicators of Heavy Metal Pollution in Urban Stormwater Runoff

  • Séverine LadislasEmail author
  • Amelène El-Mufleh
  • Claire Gérente
  • Florent Chazarenc
  • Yves Andrès
  • Béatrice Béchet


The concentrations of heavy metals in water, sediments, soil, roots, and shoots of five aquatic macrophytes species (Oenanthe sp., Juncus sp., Typha sp., Callitriche sp.1, and Callitriche sp.2) collected from a detention pond receiving stormwater runoff coming from a highway were measured to ascertain whether plants organs are characterized by differential accumulations and to evaluate the potential of the plant species as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution in urban stormwater runoff. Heavy metals considered for water and sediment analysis were Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, and As. Heavy metals considered for plant and soil analysis were Cd, Ni, and Zn. The metal concentrations in water, sediments, plants, and corresponding soil showed that the studied site is contaminated by heavy metals, probably due to the road traffic. Results also showed that plant roots had higher metal content than aboveground tissues. The floating plants displayed higher metal accumulation than the three other rooted plants. Heavy metal concentrations measured in the organs of the rooted plants increased when metal concentrations measured in the soil increased. The highest metal bioconcentration factors (BCF) were obtained for cadmium and nickel accumulation by Typha sp. (BCF = 1.3 and 0.8, respectively) and zinc accumulation by Juncus sp. (BCF = 4.8). Our results underline the potential use of such plant species for heavy metal biomonitoring in water, sediments, and soil.


Aquatic macrophyte Bioindicator Biomonitoring Detention pond Heavy metal Urban stormwater runoff 



This work was conducted within the regional and cooperative Pollution des Eaux et des Sols en milieu Urbain (POLESUR) project, co-funded by the region of Pays de Loire (France). The authors want to thank the Cofiroute society, a motorway concession operator in the northwest of France, to have given them access to the study site.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Séverine Ladislas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amelène El-Mufleh
    • 2
  • Claire Gérente
    • 1
  • Florent Chazarenc
    • 1
  • Yves Andrès
    • 1
  • Béatrice Béchet
    • 2
  1. 1.Ecole des Mines de Nantes, CNRS, GEPEA, UMR 6144LUNAM UniversityNantes Cedex 3France
  2. 2.Department of Geotechnics, Water and RiskIFSTTAR French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and NetworksBouguenais CedexFrance

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