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Growth, accumulation and uptake of Eichhornia crassipes exposed to high cadmium concentrations

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A greenhouse experiment was performed to evaluate the growth, accumulation, and uptake rate of Eichhornia crassipes subject to high cadmium concentrations. Three doses of Cd were added to polluted river water (1, 5, and 10 mg Cd/L), and polluted water with basal Cd concentration (0.070 mg/L) was used as a control. The experiment lasted for 7 days. Signs of stress and toxicity were visible in all treatments from day 3 of the experiment. The growth of the water hyacinth was slightly stimulated in the presence of low Cd concentration (1 mg/L), but this could also be due to the chloride and other nutrients present in the polluted water. Cd was accumulated mainly in roots, showing a maximum concentration of 1742.1 mg Cd/kg dw (10 mg Cd/L). The translocation from roots to leaves was low, with a maximum accumulation of 147.4 mg Cd/kg dw (10 mg Cd/L). The uptake rate for roots reached a maximum of 248.7 mg Cd/kg·day while the uptake rate for leaves did not saturate in the range of the studied concentrations (max. 20.8 mg Cd/kg·day). The water hyacinth showed promising results for the application in the treatment of Cd-polluted waters given its ability to tolerate high Cd concentrations in the media (up to 10 mg Cd/L) and its capacity for uptake and accumulation.

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The authors would like to thank Cristian Weigandt for the determinations of heavy metals and Carlos Hernández for the assistance in the greenhouse.


This study was funded by the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Argentina (PICT 00-356) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina (PIP 0323).

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Correspondence to Eliana Melignani.

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Responsible editor: Elena Maestri

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Melignani, E., Faggi, A.M. & de Cabo, L.I. Growth, accumulation and uptake of Eichhornia crassipes exposed to high cadmium concentrations. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 22826–22834 (2019).

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