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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014;21(11):6845-58. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2165-0. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Microbially assisted phytoremediation approaches for two multi-element contaminated sites.

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Institute of Microbiology, Microbial Communication, Friedrich Schiller University, Neugasse 25, 07743, Jena, Germany.


Phytoremediation is an environmental friendly, cost-effective technology for a soft restoration of abandoned mine sites. The grasses Agrostis capillaris, Deschampsia flexuosa and Festuca rubra, and the annual herb Helianthus annuus were combined with microbial consortia in pot experiments on multi-metal polluted substrates collected at a former uranium mine near Ronneburg, Germany, and a historic copper mine in Kopparberg, Sweden, to test for phytoextraction versus phytostabilization abilities. Metal uptake into plant biomass was evaluated to identify optimal plant-microbe combinations for each substrate. Metal bioavailability was found to be plant species and element specific, and influenced by the applied bacterial consortia of 10 strains, each isolated from the same soil to which it was applied. H. annuus showed high extraction capacity for several metals on the German soil independent of inoculation. Our study could also show a significant enhancement of extraction for F. rubra and A. capillaris when combined with the bacterial consortium, although usually grasses are considered metal excluder species. On the Swedish mixed substrate, due to its toxicity, with 30 % bark compost, A. capillaris inoculated with the respective consortium was able to extract multi-metal contaminants.

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