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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering >> 2016, Volume 10, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11783-014-0746-x

Cadmium tolerance and accumulation in fifteen wetland plant species from cadmium-polluted water in constructed wetlands

School of Environmental and Safety Engineering, Changzhou University, Changzhou 213164, China

Accepted: 2014-07-25 Available online: 2016-02-01

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Variations in cadmium (Cd) tolerances and accumulations among fifteen wetland plant species in moderately (0.5 mg·L ) and heavily (1.0 mg·L ) Cd-polluted wastewaters were investigated in constructed wetlands. Cd removal efficiencies from the wastewaters were more than 90%, and 23.5% and 16.8% of the Cd in the water accumulated in wetland plants for 0.5 and 1.0 mg·L Cd treatments, respectively. The variations among the plant species were 29.4-fold to 48.7-fold in plant biomasses, 5.4-fold to 21.9-fold in Cd concentrations, and 13.8-fold to 29.6-fold in Cd accumulations. The plant species were also largely diversified in terms of Cd tolerance. Some species were tolerant of heavy Cd stress, and some others were sensitive to moderate Cd level. Four wetland plant species were selected for the treatment of Cd-polluted wastewater for their high Cd accumulating abilities and relative Cd tolerances. Plant Cd quantity accumulations are correlated positively and significantly ( <0.05) with plant biomasses and correlated positively but insignificantly ( >0.05) with plant Cd concentrations. The results indicate that the Cd accumulation abilities of wetland plant species are determined mainly by their biomasses and Cd tolerances in growth, which should be the first criteria in selecting wetland plant species for the treating Cd-polluted wastewaters. Cd concentration in the plants may be the second consideration.

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