Maria Teresa Alarcon-Herrera, Mario A. Olmos-Márquez, Cecilia Valles-Aragon, Esther Llorens, Ignacio R. Martin Domínguez R. Martin Domínguez


Phytoremediation is an innovative technology that uses plants in order to remediate polluted water and soil. A 10 week study in flower pots was performed in order to determine the arsenic (As) removal potential of Shoenoplectus americanus, Eleocharis macrostachya and Baccharis salicifolia and to evaluate their tolerance to increasing doses of As. The experiment used five different treatments with distinct As concentrations (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 mg/l) and a control (tap water) to determine the acclimatization capacity of the species to the different concentrations. The number of plants and their height were determined during the experiment. The values for the factors of translocation, accumulation and enrichment were obtained at the end of the experiment; the maximum values for these factors were, respectively, 1.86, 92.13 and 1.63 for E. macrostachya, 1.73, 59.74 and 0.56 for S. americanus and 8.96, 27.94 and 6.72 for B. salicifolia. The maximum growth value belonged to the S americanus.  The maximum concentration of As in water tolerated by E. macrostachya and B. salicifolia were 2 and 3 mg/l respectively. B. Salicifolia, has no tolerance for environments with high concentrations of arsenic. S. americanus showed the highest As accumulation capacity and the greatest tolerance in the tested concentrations. E. macrostachya proved to be translocator plants and S. americanus was confirmed to be a stabilizer plant with a high potential for phytostabilization and rhizofiltration techniques.

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