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Mercury accumulation potential of aquatic plant species in West Dongting Lake, China

March 9, 2023

West Dongting Lake is a protected wetland with the potential for high levels of mercury release via wastewater and deposition from industry and agriculture during the last decade. To find out the ability of various plant species to accumulate mercury pollutants from soil and water, nine sites were studied in the downstream direction of the flow of the Yuan and Li Rivers, which are tributaries of the Yellow River flowing into West Dongting Lake, where mercury levels arere high in soil and plant tissues. The total mercury (THg) concentration in wetland soil was 0.078–1.659 mg/kg, which varied along the gradient of water flow along the river. According to canonical correspondence analysis and correlation analysis, there was a positive correlation between the soil THg concentration and the soil moisture in West Dongting Lake. There is high heterogeneity in the spatial distribution of soil THg concentration in West Dongting Lake, which may be related to the spatial heterogeneity of the soil moisture. Some plant species had higher THg concentrations in aboveground tissues (translocation factor >1), but none of these plant species fit the criteria as hyperaccumulators of mercury. And some species of the same ecological type (e.g., emergent, submergent, floating-leaved) exhibited very different strategies for mercury uptake. The concentrations of mercury in these species were lower than in other studies but these had relatively higher translocation factors. To phytoremediate soil mercury in West Dongting Lake, the regular harvest of plants could help remove mercury from soil and plant tissue.

Publication Year 2023
Title Mercury accumulation potential of aquatic plant species in West Dongting Lake, China
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121313
Authors Dong Peng, Mingzhu Chen, Xinyue Su, Chenchen Liu, Zhehao Zhang, Beth Middleton, Ting Lei
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Pollution
Index ID 70241552
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center