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Chemosphere. 2003 Feb;50(6):795-800.

Copper tolerance, uptake and accumulation by Phragmites australis.

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Department of Biology, Institute for Natural Resource and Environmental Management, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR, PR China.


Copper (Cu) uptake and accumulation of five populations of Phragmites australis growing in two mine sites (Parys Mountain, Wales, UK and Plombières, Belgium) contaminated with Cu and three 'clean' sites (Felixstowe, UK; Wisbech, UK and Mai Po, Hong Kong) were studied under field and glasshouse conditions. Cu tolerances in these populations of seedlings raised from seeds collected from the above five sites were also studied under glasshouse conditions. Although concentrations of Cu in the plant tissues (leaves, stems, rhizomes and roots) of P. australis and the associated soils from the Cu-contaminated sites were significantly higher than those of the plant tissues and the soils collected in the clean sites, small differences were found between the two Cu-contaminated populations and the three clean populations when seedlings were grown in 0.1 and 0.5 microg ml(-1) Cu treatment solutions. In general, different populations of seedlings showed similar growth responses, metal uptake and indices of Cu tolerance when cultured in the same Cu treatment solution for 3 weeks. There was insufficient evidence to support the hypothesis that the Cu-contaminated populations have evolved to Cu-tolerant ecotypes.

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