Roccotiello, E., Serrano, H.C., Mariotti, M.G., Branquinho, C. (2015) Nickel phytoremediation potential of the Mediterranean Alyssoides utriculata (L.) Medik.Chemosphere, 119, 1372-1378. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.02.031 (IF2015 3,698; Q1 Environmental Sciences)
This study investigated the accumulation and distribution of nickel in the leaves and roots of the Mediterranean shrub Alyssoides utriculata to assess its potential use in phytoremediation of Ni contaminated soils. Total (AAS and ICP-MS) Ni, Ca and Mg contents were analyzed in the plants and related to their bioavailability (in EDTA) in serpentine and non-serpentine soils. To find the relationships between the soil available Ni and the Ni content of this species, we also evaluated possible interactions with Ca and Mg. The bioaccumulation factor (BF) and the translocation factor (TF) were determined to assess the tolerance strategies developed by A. utriculata and to evaluate its potential for phytoextraction or phytostabilization. The leaf Ni is higher than 1000 μg g(-1) which categorizes the species as a Ni-hyperaccumulator and a great candidate for Ni-phytoextraction purposes. In addition to the accumulation of Ni, the leaf Mg is also correlated with soil bioavailable concentrations. The Ca uptake and translocation were significantly lower in serpentine plants (higher Ni), as such, the leaf Ca is probably greatly influenced either by the soil's Ni or the soil Ca/Mg ratio. The BFs and TFs are strongly higher than 1 and generally did not significantly differed between plants from serpentine (higher Ni) and non-serpentine soils (lower Ni). The present study highlights for the first time that A. utriculata could be suitable for cleaning Ni-contaminated areas and provides a contribution to the very small volume of data available on the potential use of native Mediterranean plant species from contaminated sites in phytoremediation technologies.