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Prospective Application of Leucaena Leucocephala for Phytoextraction of Cd and Zn and Nitrogen Fixation in Metal Polluted Soils

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The study deals with phytoextraction of Zn and Cd by Leucaena Leucocephala grown on effluent fed and low nitrogen soils collected from S1, S2, and S3 sites, representing decreasing metal content with increasing distance from the effluent drain. Plant nitrogen fixation potential and soil micro-biochemical attributes against metal stress were also assessed. Increasing soil metal content and plant growth enhanced metal accumulation. Relatively greater amount of Zn than Cd was accumulated by L. leucocephala, which exceeded in roots with that of other parts. Remediation factor for Cd was maximum (3.6%) in S2 grown plant. Nodule numbers, their biomass, nitrogenase activity, and leghaemoglobin content were maximum in plants grown in S3 and minimum in S1 soil having maximum metals. Maximum soil organic C, total N, Cmic, and Nmic, respiration rate, ATP content, and enzymatic activities in response to phytoremediation was recorded in S3 followed by S2 and S1. Phytoremediation for a year enhanced extractable Zn and Cd by 36% and 45%, and their total removal by 20% and 30%, respectively from S2, which suggests the possible application of L. leucocephala for the remediation of metal contaminated sites and their fertility restoration by improving microbial functionalities and N-pool.
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Keywords: Leucaena Leucocephala; bioconcentration factor; heavy metals; nitrogen fixation; phytoextraction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ecotechnology Laboratory, Department of Environmental Sciences,G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India

Publication date: January 21, 2011

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