Encontros Scientia

E3 Talk | New insights about sustainable phytoremediation of brownfield sites

E3 Talk with Werther Guidi Nissim (University of Milano-Biocca, Italy)

19 April 2023 . 11h30 (GMT)

Room 2.2.21, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon

The use of plants to clean up polluted brownfields is an innovative, environmental-friendly technology which has been investigated for several years. Unfortunately, the early enthusiasm for this technique has partially attenuated in the recent years by some drawbacks related to its actual applicability. Some specific applications are particularly difficult due to either low plant adaptability to high environmental pollution levels and/or low pollution degradation/uptake rates which resulted in long time frame required to reduce pollution below safety thresholds. While constant efforts are being made to overcome these shortcomings at both plant and stand levels, there is a general lack of knowledge on ecosystem services (ES) that may be associated with phytoremediation, which in some cases could compensate for the above-mentioned shortcomings. Tree covers used for phytoremediation can sequester and store large amounts of carbon, also providing valuable biomass feedstock that can be used for bioenergy. Other ES include those on urban soil biology and hydrology. The establishment of phytoremediation covers on brownfields can help regulate urban temperature, enhance biological diversity, attenuate air pollution, and reduce noise. Phytoremediation could also provide many social benefits by promoting social justice and cohesion, physical and psychological health and aesthetic value. While information on these aspects is abundant for urban forests, most of these services must be still quantified for phytoremediation sites which differ somewhat from urban forests in both their physical structure and relationship with the city (e.g., usability). This contribution aims at opening a discussion on the potential of ES related to phytoremediation.

Join us IN PERSON (FCUL Room 2.2.21) or by Zoom (LINK; pw:748099)!

We have been experiencing some technical issues regarding the authentication/connection to the Zoom platform through FCCN. For that, we apologise for any difficulties during the transmission.