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Lead, zinc, and cadmium uptake, accumulation, and phytoremediation by plants growing around Tang-e Douzan lead–zinc mine, Iran

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In the current study, soils of Tang-e Douzan mine, located in Isfahan, Iran, were collected and analyzed for soluble, exchangeable, and total amounts of Pb, Zn, Cd, Ca, and Mg. The maximum Pb, Zn, Cd, Ca, and Mg concentrations in soils were 2500, 1100, 59, 43,800, and 1320 mg/kg for total metals, 86, 83, 6.3, 4650, and 48 mg/kg for their exchangeable fractions, and 59, 3.7, 0.53, 430, and 6.4 mg/kg for their soluble fractions, respectively. All specimens collected, including 69 plant species, were analyzed for Pb, Zn, and Cd. Moreover, their phytoremediation potential was investigated by calculating bioconcentration factors (BCF), translocation factors (TF), and extraction factors (EF) for each heavy metal. Analysis of the leaves for heavy metals showed no metal hyperaccumulation. The highest shoot concentrations of Pb (298 mg/kg) and Zn (740 mg/kg) were found in Roemeria hybrida subsp. dodecandra and Cd (43 mg/kg) in Chenopodium foliosum. Plants having BCFs and TFs > 1 are capable of phytoextraction. Among the analyzed species, four had both TFs and BCFs > 1 for Zn, 13 for Cd, and none for Pb. R. hybrida, Bromus squarrosus, Descurainia sophia, and Poa bulbosa seem to be the best choices for phytoextraction of Zn. Aegilops columnaris, Allium ampeloprasum subsp. iranicum, B. squarrosus, and Cousinia piptocephala are the best choices for phytoextraction of Cd. Plants with BCF > 1 and TF < 1, including Cerastium dichotomum and Muscari neglectum for Pb, Ceratocephala falcata, M. neglectum, Ornithogalum orthophyllum, and Ranunculus arvensis for Zn and C. falcata, M. neglectum, O. orthophyllum, and R. hybrida subsp. dodecandra for Cd, are proposed to be the most efficient species for metal phytostabilization.

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The authors are thankful to the Graduate School of Kharazmi University and University of Isfahan for providing the research facilities needed for this study. They also express their gratitude to K. Negaresh for identification of plant species.

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Correspondence to Azam Salimi.

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Responsible editor: Elena Maestri

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Hesami, R., Salimi, A. & Ghaderian, S.M. Lead, zinc, and cadmium uptake, accumulation, and phytoremediation by plants growing around Tang-e Douzan lead–zinc mine, Iran. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 8701–8714 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-1156-y

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  • Bioconcentration factor
  • Translocation factor
  • Extraction factor
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Cadmium
  • Heavy metals
  • Phytoremediation