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Environ Pollut. 2007 Jan;145(1):234-7. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Mercury uptake and accumulation by four species of aquatic plants.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Russell Sage College, 45 Ferry Street, Troy, NY 12180, USA.


The effectiveness of four aquatic plants including water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), zebra rush (Scirpus tabernaemontani) and taro (Colocasia esculenta) were evaluated for their capabilities in removing mercury from water. The plants were exposed to concentrations of 0 mg/L, 0.5 mg/L or 2 mg/L of mercury for 30 days. Assays were conducted using both Microtox (water) and cold vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) (roots and water). The Microtox results indicated that the mercury induced acute toxicity had been removed from the water. AAS confirmed an increase of mercury within the plant root tissue and a corresponding decrease of mercury in the water. All species of plants appeared to reduce mercury concentrations in the water via root uptake and accumulation. Water lettuce and water hyacinth appeared to be the most effective, followed by taro and zebra rush, respectively.

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