Metal Tolerance Capability of Helichrysum microphyllum Cambess. subsp. tyrrhenicum Bacch., Brullo & Giusso: A Candidate for Phytostabilization in Abandoned Mine Sites

  • G. Bacchetta
  • M. E. BoiEmail author
  • G. Cappai
  • G. De Giudici
  • M. Piredda
  • M. Porceddu


Sardinia was known as an important mine pole in Europe during his history. Still after decades from mine closure, 75.000.000 m3 of mine waste, rich in heavy metals, were left abandoned causing a huge environmental legacy on the mine district area. Consequently, cost effective remediation is required. In this frame, phytoremediation is considered a feasible candidate. This research was focused on Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum, which is pioneer in xeric soils with low-functions, like mine tailings. The aim of this study was to evaluate its ability to extract heavy metals from mine soils and accumulate them in plant tissues and its suitability for phytostabilization. Sundry samples of soil, roots and epigean organ were collected through field sampling and analysed in order to obtain metals concentration and mineralogical characteristics. Our results indicate that this species tolerates high concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium, behaving as a species suitable for phytostabilization.


Heavy metals Mine tailings Mediterranean flora Phytostabilization Vascular plant 



This work is part of the research project RE-MINE -REstoration and remediation of abandoned MINE sites, funded by the Fondazione di Sardegna and Regional Sardinian Government (Grant CUP F72F16003160002). We gratefully acknowledge the University of Cagliari for the financial support of the Ph.D scholarship of Maria Enrica Boi (years 2015–2018).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DISVA - Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity (CCB)University of CagliariCagliariItaly
  2. 2.BG-SAR - Sardinian Germplasm Bank, HBK - Hortus Botanicus KaralitanusUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  3. 3.DICAAR - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  4. 4.DSCG - Department of Chemical and Geological ScienceUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

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