Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 91, Issue 3–4, pp 351–362 | Cite as

Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Web.) as phytoindicators of cadmium contamination

  • L. Simon
  • H. W. Martin
  • D. C. Adriano


Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Web.) were demonstrated to be potential indicator plants for heavy metal contaminated sites. Chicory, grown with 0.5–50 μM cadmium (Cd) in nutrient solution, accumulated 10–300 μM Cd g−1 in shoots and 10–890 μg Cd μg−1 in roots and rhizomes. With dandelion, 20–410 μg Cd μg−1 was found in shoots and 20–1360 μg Cd μg−1 in roots and rhizomes. An inverse correlation existed between chlorophyll and Cd concentrations in shoots of both species. Accumulation of Cd from nutrient solution was similar with the counter-anions SO42−, Cl1− and NO3 in chicory. In chicory grown in Cd-amended (11.2 kg Cd ha−1 applied five years previously) soils, Cd concentrations were substantially higher than in controls in all plant parts following the order: leaf > caudex > stem > root and rhizome. The above trend was the opposite of that observed in solution culture, where Cd accumulation was higher in roots and rhizomes than in shoots. Higher cadmium accumulation was found from a Cd-treated sand (Grossarenic Paleudult) than from a loamy sand (Typic Kandiudult) soil type. Chicory and dandelion are proposed indicator plants of cadmium contamination, and both have the potential to be an international standard heavy phytomonitor species of heavy metal contaminantion.

Key words

Chicory dandelion cadmium contamination chlorophyll phytoindicator 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Simon
    • 1
  • H. W. Martin
    • 1
  • D. C. Adriano
    • 1
  1. 1.Savannah River Ecology LaboratoryUniversity of GeorgiaAikenUSA

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