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Open AccessArticle

Assessing Soil Metal Levels in an Industrial Environment of Northwestern China and the Phytoremediation Potential of Its Native Plants

by 1, 1,2, 1,3, 1,3, 1 and 1,*
1
Key Laboratory of Eco-Environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources Research in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
2
Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment, China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
3
State Key Laboratory of the Seedling Bioengineering, Ningxia Forestry Institute, Yinchuan 750004, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2686; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082686
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
Various industrial activities contribute heavy metals to terrestrial ecosystems. In order to evaluate the soil quality of industrial areas and to identify the potential phytoremediator from the native plant species, we collected 45 surface soil samples and 21 plant species in a typical industrial area of northwestern China. The results showed that the average values of the Cd, Cr, As, Pb, Cu, and Zn in the soils were 36.91, 1.67, 7.20, 1.38, 1.27, and 6.66 times, respectively, compared with the corresponding background values. The average single factor pollution index for heavy metals decreased in the order of Cd > As > Zn > Cr > Cu > Pb. The study area was seriously polluted by Cd and As, slightly polluted by Zn, and had relatively little contamination by Cr, Pb, and Cu. In terms of the average Nemerow synthetic pollution index in every sampling site, 97.78% of the samples were seriously polluted and 2.22% of the samples were moderately polluted, which indicated that almost all of the samples in the industrial area were seriously polluted. The results of the biomass, heavy metal concentrations, bioconcentration factors (BCF), and translocation factors (TF) for the native plants showed that Achnatherum splendens for metal Cr presented a phytostabilization potential, Artemisia scoparia and Echinochloa crusgalli for metal Cu and Halogeton arachnoideus for metal Zn presented a phytoextraction potential, and all of the studied plants were limited as phytoremediators for Cd or Pb contaminated soil. View Full-Text
Keywords: industrial area; heavy metal pollution; pollution assessment; dominant plant; potential phytoremediator industrial area; heavy metal pollution; pollution assessment; dominant plant; potential phytoremediator
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Yang, Y.; Li, C.; Ni, X.; Ma, W.; Wei, H. Assessing Soil Metal Levels in an Industrial Environment of Northwestern China and the Phytoremediation Potential of Its Native Plants. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2686. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082686

AMA Style

Liu Y, Yang Y, Li C, Ni X, Ma W, Wei H. Assessing Soil Metal Levels in an Industrial Environment of Northwestern China and the Phytoremediation Potential of Its Native Plants. Sustainability. 2018; 10(8):2686. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082686

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, Yuan; Yang, Yujing; Li, Changxiao; Ni, Xilu; Ma, Wenchao; Wei, Hong. 2018. "Assessing Soil Metal Levels in an Industrial Environment of Northwestern China and the Phytoremediation Potential of Its Native Plants" Sustainability 10, no. 8: 2686. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082686

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