Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 997–1003 | Cite as

Development of a model to select plants with optimum metal phytoextraction potential

  • Sebastián D. Guala
  • Flora A. Vega
  • Emma F. Covelo
Research Article

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the present study is to propose a nonlinear model which provides an indicator for the maximum phytoextraction of metals to help in the decision-making process. Research into different species and strategies plays an important role in the application of phytoextraction techniques to the remediation of contaminated soil. Also, the convenience of species according to their biomass and pollutant accumulation capacities has gained important space in discussions regarding remediation strategies, whether to choose species with low accumulation capacities and high biomass or high accumulation capacities with low biomass.

Methods

The effects of heavy metals in soil on plant growth are studied by means of a nonlinear interaction model which relates the dynamics of the uptake of heavy metals by plants to heavy metal deposed in soil.

Results

The model, presented theoretically, provides an indicator for the maximum phytoextraction of metals which depends on adjustable parameters of both the plant and the environmental conditions. Finally, in order to clarify its applicability, a series of experimental results found in the literature are presented to show how the model performs consistently with real data.

Conclusions

The inhibition of plant growth due to heavy metal concentration can be predicted by a simple kinetic model. The model proposed in this study makes it possible to characterize the nonlinear behaviour of the soil–plant interaction with heavy metal pollution in order to establish maximum uptake values for heavy metals in the harvestable part of plants.

Keywords

Soil pollution Metals Phytoremediation Phytoextraction Plant selection, modelling 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastián D. Guala
    • 2
  • Flora A. Vega
    • 1
  • Emma F. Covelo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Bioloxía Vexetal e Ciencia do Solo, Facultade de BioloxiaUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Nacional de General SarmientoLos PolvorinesArgentina

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