Phytostabilization as Soil Remediation Strategy

  • Agustina BranziniEmail author
  • Marta S. Zubillaga
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 35)


Heavy metals are natural components of the terrestrial ecosystem. However, soils could become contaminated by the accumulation of heavy metal mixtures as a result of human activities. One of the most important concerns associated with heavy metals is their persistence and harmful effects to humans and the environment. Therefore, remediation is essential to mitigate the negative effects caused by the heavy metals incorporated to ecosystems, alone or as mixture. In situ remediation technologies are low-cost alternative over ex situ nonbiological remediation techniques that could adsorb, bind, or co-precipitate and/or can use plants for immobilization of toxic metals. These alternatives denote attractive and emerging technologies for site restoration. In particular, phytostabilization is a technology that immobilizes soil contaminants. They are absorbed and accumulated by roots, adsorbed onto the roots, or precipitated in the rhizosphere. In a phytoremediation study in Argentina with Sesbania virgata plants, it was observed that the main accumulation of heavy metals appeared in plant roots, and Zn is more removed from soils by S. virgata (BCF average in roots Zn > Cr > Cu). While the co-presence of metals resulted in a greater reduction in S. virgata biomass than the presence of a single metal, S. virgata tolerated and stabilized high concentrations of Cu, Zn, and Cr. In view of this tolerance, S. virgata is an excellent species to be used for heavy metal phytostabilization in contaminated soils.


Heavy Metal Sewage Sludge Arsenic Compound Remediation Strategy Soil Heavy Metal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fertility and Fertilizers, School of AgronomyUniversity of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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