Plants growing on metalliferous soils from abandoned mines are unique because of their ability to cope with high metal levels in soil. In this study, we characterized plants and soils from an abandoned Pb-Zn mine in the Basque Country (northern Spain). Soil in this area proved to be
deficient in major macronutrients and to contain toxic levels of Cd, Pb, and Zn. Spontaneously growing native plants (belonging to 31 species, 28 genera, and 15 families) were botanically identified. Plant shoots and rhizosphere soil were sampled at several sites in the mine, and analyzed
for Pb, Zn and Cd concentration. Zinc showed the highest concentrations in shoots, followed by Pb and Cd. Highest Zn concentrations in shoots were found in the Zn-Cd hyperaccumulator Thlaspi caerulescens (mean = 18,254 mg Zn kg−1 DW). Different metal tolerance and accumulation
patterns were observed among the studied plant species, thus offering a wide germplasm assortment for the suitable selection of phytoremediation technologies. This study highlights the importance of preserving metalliferous environments as they shelter a unique and highly valuable metallicolous
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Document Type: Research Article
Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología,Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain
Área de Biología Vegetal, Departamento de Ciencias Agroforestales,Escuela de Ingenierías Agrarias, Soria, Spain
NEIKER-Tecnalia,Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario, Derio, Spain
Publication date: January 21, 2011