SREL Reprint #2111

 

 

 

 

CHICORY (CICHORIUM INTYBUS L.) AND DANDELION (TARAXACUM OFFICINALE WEB.) AS PHYTOINDICATORS OF CADMIUM CONTAMINATION

L. SIMON, H. W. MARTIN and D. C. ADRIANO

University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA

Abstract. Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Web.) were demonstrated to be potential indicator plants for heavy metal contaminated sites. Chicory, grown with 0.5-50 µM cadmium (Cd) in nutrient solution, accumulated 10-300 µg Cd g-1 in shoots and 10-890 µg Cd µg-1 in roots and rhizomes. With dandelion, 20-410 µg Cd µg-1 was found in shoots and 20-1360 µg Cd µg-1 in roots and rhizomes. An inverse correlation existed between chlorophyll and Cd concentrations in shoots of both species. Accumulation of Cd from nutrient solution was similar with the counter-anions S042-, Cl1-, and N03- in chicory. In chicory grown in Cd-amended (11.2 kg Cd ha-1 applied five years previously) soils, Cd concentrations were substantially higher than in controls in all plant parts following the order: leaf > caudex > stem > root and rhizome. The above trend was the opposite of that observed in solution culture, where Cd accumulation was higher in roots and rhizomes than in shoots. Higher cadmium accumulation was found from a Cd-treated sand (Grossarenic Paleudult) than from a loamy sand (Typic Kandiudult) soil type. Chicory and dandelion are proposed indicator plants of cadmium contamination, and both have the potential to be an international standard heavy phytomonitor species of heavy metal contamination.

Key words: Chicory, dandelion, cadmium contamination, chlorophyll, phytoindicator

 

SREL Reprint #2111

Simon, L., H.W. Martin, and D.C. Adriano. 1996. Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale web.) as phytoindicators of cadmium contaminators. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 91:351-362.

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