Differences in Cd and Zn bioaccumulation for the flood-tolerant Salix cinerea rooting in seasonally flooded contaminated sediments

Bart Vandecasteele, G Du Laing, Paul Quataert, F. M. G Tack

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    Several authors suggest that a hydrological regime aiming at wetland creation is a potential management option that favours reducing bioavailability for metal-contaminated sites. The hydrological conditions on a site constitute one of the many factors that may affect the availability of potentially toxic trace metals for uptake by plants. Bioavailability of Cd, Mn and Zn on a contaminated dredged sediment landfill (DSL) with variable duration of submersion was evaluated by measuring metal concentrations in the wetland plant species Salix cinerea in field conditions. Longer submersion periods in the field caused lower Cd and Zn concentrations in the leaves in the first weeks of the growing season. Foliar Cd and Zn concentrations at the end of the growing season were highest on the initially flooded plot that emerged early in the growing season. Foliar Zn concentrations were also high at a sandy-textured oxic plot with low soil metal concentrations. Zn uptake in the leaves was markedly slower than Cd uptake for trees growing on soils with prolonged waterlogging during the growing season, pointing at a different availability. Zn availability was lowest when soil was submerged, but metal transfer from stems and twigs to leaves may mask the lower availability of Cd in submerged soils. Especially for Cd, a transfer effect from one growing season to the next season was observed: oxic conditions at the end of the previous growing season seem to determine at least partly the foliar concentrations for S. cinerea through this metal transfer mechanism. Duration of the submersion period is a key factor for bioavailability inasmuch as initially submerged soils emerging only in the second half of the growing season resulted in elevated Cd and Zn foliar concentrations at that time.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScience of the total environment
    Issue number1-3
    Pages (from-to)251-263
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Thematic list

    • Nature management

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology

    Taxonomic list

    • willow (Salix spp.)


    • indicators

    Geographic list

    • river catchments


    • pedometry


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