Bioremediation and phytoremediation have demonstrated potential for decontamination of petroleum hydrocarbon-impacted soils. The total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) are known to induce phytotoxicity, reduce water retention in soil, associate hydrophobic nature and contaminants’ in situ heterogeneous distribution, limit soil nutrient release and reduce soil aeration and compaction. The ageing of TPHs in contaminated soils further hinders the degradation process. Soil amendments can promote plant growth and enhance the TPH removal from contaminated aged soil. In the present experiment, remediation of TPH-contaminated aged soil was performed by Italian ryegrass, with compost (COM, 5%), biochar (BC, 5%) and immobilized microorganisms’ technique (IMT). Results revealed that significantly highest hydrocarbon removal (40%) was noted in mixed amendments (MAA) which contained BC + COM + IMT, followed by COM (36%), compared to vegetative control and other treatments. The higher TPH removal in aged soil corresponds with the stimulated rhizospheric effects, as evidenced by higher root biomass (85–159% increase), and bacterial count compared to NA control. Phyto-stimulants actions of biochar and IMT improved seed germination of Italian ryegrass. The compost co-amendment with other treatments showed improvement in plant physiological status. These results suggested that plant growth and TPH removal from aged, contaminated soils using BC, COM and IMT can improve bioremediation efficiency.
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The authors acknowledge the contribution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for funding two fellowships to the author Mr. Khan including in Indigenous 5000 PhDs scheme (2AV1-084) and International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP 34 BMS 10).
This work was funded by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan to first author, Mr. Khan, under Indigenous 5000 PhDs scheme (funding number 2AV1-084, 2012).
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• Italian ryegrass with organic amendments stimulates the removal of TPH.
• Higher TPH removal rate corresponds well with the stimulated rhizospheric effect.
• Higher root biomass and bacterial count facilitated TPH removal in aged soil.
• Suitable combination for effective plant tandem removal of TPH is presented.
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Hussain, ., Khan, A.H.A., Hussain, I. et al. Soil conditioners improve rhizodegradation of aged petroleum hydrocarbons and enhance the growth of Lolium multiflorum. Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 9097–9109 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16149-7