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Abstract

Water mint (Mentha aquatica L.) belongs to the arsenic tolerant plant species suitable for cultivation in Central European climate conditions. Therefore, its possible application for remediation of contaminated soil was investigated in pot and field experiments. Two M. aquatica plants of different origin, i) commercially market-available mint plants, and ii) plants habituated at the arsenic contaminated former mining area in southern Tuscany (Italy) were tested for their arsenic uptake, transformation, and speciation. The total arsenic concentrations in the experimental soils varied from 21 to 1573 mg As kg-1, the mobile fractions did not exceed 2% of total soil arsenic. The mint plants originating from the contaminated area were able to remove ~400 µg of arsenic per pot, whereas the commercial plant removed a significantly lower amount (~300 µg of arsenic per pot). Only arsenite and arsenate, but no organoarsenic compounds were identified in both stems and leaves. Arsenate was the predominant arsenic compound and reached up to 80% regardless of the origin of the mint plants. Although M. aquatica seems to be able to grow in contaminated soils without symptoms of phytotoxicity, its efficiency to remove arsenic from the soil is limited as can be demonstrated by total elimination of As from individual pots not exceeding 0.1%. Moreover, the application of plants originating from the contaminated site did not result in sufficient increase of potential phytoextraction efficiency of M. aquatica. Although not suitable for phytoextraction the M. aquatica plants can be used as vegetation cover of the contaminated soil at the former mining areas
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Abstract

The study was conducted on the Biała Lądecka River which is a mountain river. It is similar to many European mountain rivers in terms of hydromorphology and catchment management. The aim of this study was to determine the bioconcentration factors of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Hg, Ni, Cr, Cu and Zn) in Ranunculus aquatile (L.) Dumort., Fontinalis antipyretica (L. ex Hedw.), and Lemanea fluviatilis (L.) C.Ag. The content of metals in water, sediment, and submerged plants was determined. The metal concentrations in plants can be arranged as follows: Hg < Cd < Cr < Ni < Cu < Pb <Zn. The highest concentrations of Hg, Ni, Cr, and Cu were observed in F. antipyretica, but the highest concentrations of Pb, Cd, and Zn were in R. aquatile. L. fluviatilis always contained the least amounts of heavy metals. Bioconcentration factors (BCFs) were lowest in L. fluviatilis and highest in F. antipyretica. Among the analyzed metals, plants accumulated the highest amount of Zn, and the least of Hg. The BCFs for Zn were from 24111 (in L. fluviatilis) to 97574 (in R. aquatile), and BCFs for Hg were from 29 (in L. fluviatilis) to 226 (in F. antipyretica).
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