Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 216, Issue 1–4, pp 93–103 | Cite as

Phytoextraction of Cadmium and Phytostabilisation with Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

  • Franz RebeleEmail author
  • Cornelia Lehmann


Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) is a tall (1.0–2.0 m) high biomass perennial herb which accumulates considerable amounts of metals on contaminated sites. An outdoor pot experiment was conducted on a sandy, slightly alkaline soil of moderate fertility to study the uptake of cadmium and the distribution of Cd in plant tissues of A. vulgaris. Cadmium was applied as CdCl2 (a total of 1 l solution of 0, 10, 50 and 100 mg Cd l−1) to 12-l pots with a height of 25 cm. HNO3- and water-extractable concentrations of Cd were correlated with the applied Cd at 2-cm soil depth, but were not correlated at 20-cm soil depth, suggesting that Cd was either not mobile in the soil or completely taken up by mugwort roots. The Cd concentrations in different organs of A. vulgaris and litter increased with increasing soil contamination. Leaf/soil concentration ratios (BCFs) up to 65.93 ± 32.26 were observed. Translocation of Cd to the aboveground organs was very high. The leaf/root Cd concentration ratio (translocation factor) ranged from 2.07 ± 0.56 to 2.37 ± 1.31; however, there was no correlation of translocation factors to Cd enrichment, indicating similar translocation upon different soil contamination levels. In summary, A. vulgaris is tolerant to the metal concentrations accumulated, has a high metal accumulating biomass and accumulates Cd up to about 70% in the aboveground parts. Both a high phytoextraction potential and a high value for phytostabilisation would recommend mugwort for phytoremediation.


Bioconcentration factor Bioremediation Heavy metal Phytoattenuation Phytoextraction potential Phytostabilisation 



We thank an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EcologyTechnical University BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Department of Crop and Animal SciencesHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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