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Effect of Soil Properties on Arsenic Hyperaccumulation in Pteris Vittata and Pityrogramma Calomelanos var. Austroamericana

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Two arsenic (As) hyperaccumulators, Pteris vittata L. and Pityrogramma calomelanos var. austroamericana, were grown in As-contaminated soils of contrasting properties. Ferns were exposed to three levels of As in soil at concentrations of 0, 600 and 2400 mol kg-1 for a period of 22 weeks. Plant biomass and As concentration in fronds and roots varied significantly between the two species. At 600 mol kg-1 As level, As hyperaccumulation was not observed in both the fern species. However at the 2400 mol kg-1 As level, both the species accumulated very high levels (>1000 mg kg-1) of As in fronds. Arsenic concentration and uptake in fronds of both species followed the order Kurosol (Box Hill) > Vertosol (Narrabri) > Ferrosol (Robertson). In the studied soils, P. vittata possessed higher frond biomass and As accumulation, and thus was more efficient in removing soil As than P. calomelanos var. austroamericana. Soil properties such as free Fe, clay and organic matter contents appear to have affected the bioavailability of As in the studied soils. These results show that soil properties influence the As extraction efficiency of hyperaccumulating plants and must be considered in context of the phytoextraction technology of As contaminated soils.
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Keywords: Chinese brake fern; gold dust fern; phytoremediation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, the University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia,College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing, China 2: Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, the University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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