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The response of plants growing in a landfill in the Philippines towards cadmium and chromium and its implications for future remediation of metal-contaminated soils

Nazareno, Patricia Anne G.;Buot, Inocencio E. Jr.

  • Received : 2014.11.17
  • Accepted : 2015.01.26
  • Published : 2015.05.28

Abstract

During several visits to the Cebu City landfill in the Philippines, plants were observed growing within the area, including on top of the garbage piles. Studying the response of these plants is important in assessing which can be used in remediating metal contaminated soils. This study aimed to determine whether the plants in the Cebu City landfill excluded or accumulated cadmium (Cd) and chromium (Cr) in the plant tissues. The floristic composition of the landfill was analyzed prior to the sample collection. The samples were acid-digested before the desired elements were measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The Cd and Cr concentrations in the plant root-zone soil were also measured using AAS. The results indicated that the landfill substrate was generally acidic based on the results of the pH measurement. Of the 32 plant species sampled, Cyperus odoratus showed potential for Cd uptake and internal transfer; Cenchrus echinatus, Vernonia cinerea and Terminalia catappa for Cr uptake, and Cynodon dactylon for Cr internal transfer. The plants in the landfill differed in their response towards the heavy metals. To confirm the behavior of C. odoratus towards Cd, and C. echinatus, C. dactylon, V. cinerea, and T. catappa towards Cr, controlled experiments are recommended, as the plant samples analyzed were collected from the field.

Keywords

Cd/Cr uptake;metal contamination;metal transfer

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