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State of the Art of Phytoremediation in Brazil—Review and Perspectives

  • Cassiano A. R. Bernardino
  • Claudio F. Mahler
  • Karla H. Preussler
  • Luís A. B. NovoEmail author
Article

Abstract

The pollution of terrestrial and aquatic environments with heavy metals is a serious concern on a worldwide scale. Trace elements can be highly toxic and carcinogenic for human health while also detrimental to animal and plant life of ecosystems surrounding contamination hotspots. Phytoremediation is a low-cost and environment-friendly plant-based technique to alleviate polluted areas, which constitutes a viable alternative to other complex, costly, and often harmful traditional methods. Phytoremediation is particularly interesting for Brazil, given the country’s rich biodiversity and climate. This mini-review covers some of the most important results in phytoremediation studies carried out in Brazil to date, with a particular focus on the potential of the Brazilian flora for phytostabilization and phytoextraction, the two main subcategories of phytoremediation. Moreover, it includes data from two previously unpublished trials about phytoremediation of metal-polluted soil and water with vetiver grass and four wetland macrophytes (water hyacinth, creeping river grass, alligator weed, and water lettuce).

Keywords

Phytoremediation Heavy metals Metal pollution Soil reclamation Water reclamation Metal hyperaccumulation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the funding agencies CNPq, CAPES, DAAD, and FAPERJ for the financial support and scholarships granted. Luís A. B. Novo acknowledges the support of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under grant no. SFRH/BPD/103476/2014.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cassiano A. R. Bernardino
    • 1
  • Claudio F. Mahler
    • 1
  • Karla H. Preussler
    • 2
  • Luís A. B. Novo
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Graduate Program in Environmental ManagementPositivo UniversityCuritibaBrazil
  3. 3.GeoBioTec Research Center, Department of GeosciencesUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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