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Mar Pollut Bull. 2008 Dec;56(12):2037-42. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.08.008. Epub 2008 Sep 21.

Comparison of the role of two Spartina species in terms of phytostabilization and bioaccumulation of metals in the estuarine sediment.

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Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Sevilla, Apartado 1095, 41080 Sevilla, Spain.


In the joint estuary of the Odiel and Tinto rivers (SW Spain), the invasive Spartina densiflora Brongn. and the native Spartina maritima (Curtis) Fernald are growing over sediments with extreme concentrations of heavy metals. The contents of As, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn were determined in sediments, rhizosediments and different tissues of both species, from Odiel and Tinto marshes. S. densiflora showed a higher capability to retain metals around their roots and to control the uptake or transport of metals, mediated by a higher formation of plaques of Fe/Mn (hydro) oxides on the roots. At the Tinto marsh, there were no differences between the metal concentrations of the sediment and those of the rhizosediment, a fact that could be explained by the extremely high concentrations of metals which can pass over a threshold value, altering the properties of root cells and preventing roots from acting as a 'barrier' to the uptake or transport of metals.

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