Assessment of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi status and heavy metal accumulation characteristics of tree species in a lead-zinc mine area: potential applications for phytoremediation.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Sep; 22(17):13179-93.ES
To select suitable tree species associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) for phytoremediation of heavy metal (HM) contaminated area, we measured the AMF status and heavy metal accumulation in plant tissues in a lead-zinc mine area, Northwest China. All 15 tree species were colonized by AM fungi in our investigation. The mycorrhizal frequency (F%), mycorrhizal colonization intensity (M%) and spore density (SP) reduced concomitantly with increasing Pb and Zn levels; however, positive correlations were found between arbuscule density (A%) and soil total/DTPA-extractable Pb concentrations. The average concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd in plant samples were 168.21, 96.61, 41.06, and 0.79 mg/kg, respectively. Populus purdomii Rehd. accumulated the highest concentrations of Zn (432.08 mg/kg) and Cu (140.85 mg/kg) in its leaves. Considerable amount of Pb (712.37 mg/kg) and Cd (3.86 mg/kg) were concentrated in the roots of Robinia pseudoacacia Linn. and Populus simonii Carr., respectively. Plants developed different strategies to survive in HM stress environment: translocating more essential metals (Zn and Cu) into the aerial parts, while retaining more toxic heavy metals (Pb and Cd) in the roots to protect the above-ground parts from damage. According to the translocation factor (TF), bioconcentration factor (BCF), growth rate and biomass production, five tree species (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle, Cotinus coggygria Scop., P. simonii, P. purdomii, and R. pseudoacacia) were considered to be the most suitable candidates for phytoextraction and/or phytostabilization purposes. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that the efficiency of phytoremediation was enhanced by AM symbioses, and soil pH, Pb, Zn, and Cd levels were the main factors influencing the HM accumulation characteristics of plants.