Heavy metals distribution in soils surrounding an abandoned mine in NW Madrid (Spain) and their transference to wild flora.J Hazard Mater. 2009 Mar 15; 162(2-3):854-9.JH
The present work concerns the distribution and mobility of heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and Cd) in the surrounding soils of a mine site and their transfer to wild flora. Thus, soils and plants were sampled from a mining valley in NW Madrid (Spain), and total and extractable heavy metals were analysed. Soils affected by mining activities presented total Cd, Cu and Zn concentrations above toxic thresholds. The percentage of extractable element was highest for Cd and lowest for Cu. A highly significant correlation was observed between the total and extractable concentrations of metals in soils, indicating that, among the factors studied, total metals concentration is the most relevant for heavy metals extractability in these soils. (NH(4))(2)SO(4)-extractable metal concentrations in soils are correlated better with metal concentrations in several plant species than total metals in soils, and thus can be used as a suitable and robust method for the estimation of the phytoavailable fraction present in soils. Twenty-five vascular plant species (3 ferns and 22 flowering plants) were analysed, in order to identify exceptional characteristics that would be interesting for soil phytoremediation and/or reclamation. High Cd and Zn concentrations have been found in the aerial parts of Hypericum perforatum (Cd), Salix atrocinerea (Cd, Zn) and Digitalis thapsi (Cd, Zn). The present paper is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report of the metal accumulation ability of the two latter plant species. The phytoremediation ability of S. atrocinerea for Cd and Zn was estimated, obtaining intervals of time that could be considered suitable for the phytoextraction of polluted soils.