Plant and Soil

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 377–385 | Cite as

Studies on copper and cobalt tolerance in three closely related taxa within the genusSilene L. (Caryophyllaceae) from Zaïre

  • A. J. M. Baker
  • R. R. Brooks
  • A. J. Pease
  • F. Malaisse


Experiments were carried out on the tolerance to and uptake of copper and cobalt by three members of a phylogenetic series of taxa within the genusSilene from Zaïre which were reputed to represent a progression of increasing adaptation to metalliferous soils. Plants studied were the widespread and presumably non-tolerantSilene burchelli var.angustifolia (B), a more tolerant variant of this taxon (E) designated an ecotype, and the metallophyteS. cobalticola (C). Studies on the effects of both metals, singly and in combination, on seed germination, seedling and plant performance and yield, and metal uptake from soil cultures, confirmed in general the sequence B<E<C in relation to tolerance of both copper and cobalt. The experimental evidence also supports the ecotypic status of E and points to E and C being relatively more tolerant to copper than to cobalt.

Key words

Silene burchelli Silene cobalticola Cobalt tolerance Cobalt uptake Copper tolerance Copper uptake Ecotype Exclusion mechanism 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. M. Baker
    • 1
  • R. R. Brooks
    • 1
  • A. J. Pease
    • 1
  • F. Malaisse
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and BiophysicsMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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