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  • 1.
    Schück, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Heavy metal removal by floating treatment wetlands: Plant selection2019Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Elevated levels of heavy metals and chloride are commonly found in stormwater, as a consequence of pollution from traffic, building material and industries, and the use of salt for deicing in wintertime. Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs), consisting of vegetated rafts that can be placed in stormwater ponds, may be able to reduce heavy metal and chloride concentrations, but until this date have mainly been used for nutrient removal in warm climates. Plants are essential in FTWs as pollutants are taken up into plant tissues, adsorbed to exposed plant surfaces, precipitated due to chemical interactions with root exudates or bound to plant litter.

    The aim of the study was to examine: A) which plant species that should be used on FTWs in a cool climate for efficient heavy metal and chloride removal, and B) to identify plant traits that are connected to high pollutant removal capacity as a help for identification of additional suitable species.

    Thirty-four wetland plant species, all growing in wild in Sweden, were used in the study. These were all grown hydroponically for 5 days in a solution containing 1.2 µg Cd L–1, 68.5 µg Cu L–1 ¸ 78.4 µg Pb L–1, 559 µg Zn L–1 and 55.4 mg Cl L-1. Carex pseudocyperus and Carex riparia were found to quickly reduce the concentration of all added heavy metals, and keep the concentration low for the remainder of the exposure period. In addition, nine species were able to remove all metals except cadmium quickly. High removal capacity of metals was found to be connected to biomass traits, mainly large fine root and leaf biomass, and to transpiration, which is correlated with to leaf biomass. Twenty-three of the tested species have also been evaluated for their chloride uptake, and Phalaris arundinacea and Glyceria maxima were identified as the species with highest chloride removal capacity. Preliminary analysis show that the correlation between biomass and chloride removal capacity is weaker than for heavy metals.

    In conclusion, the removal capacity of heavy metals and chloride differs between plant species, which can be explained by differences in the traits of the plants. The findings indicate that removal of both heavy metals and chloride can be achieved by FTWs in cold climates using a combination of native plants.

  • 2.
    Schück, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Greger, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Capacity of 34 Wetland Plant Species to Remove Heavy Metals from WaterIn: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Polluted stormwater, a major source of heavy metal load to the sea, is often left untreated or treated in stormwater ponds that do not remove dissolved heavy metals. Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) may reduce heavy metal levels in stormwater, but the choice of plant species for efficient metal removal has received little attention. We investigated the capacity of 34 wetland plant species to remove metals dissolved in water and the possible underlying traits of plants with the best removal capacity. The plants were grown hydroponically for 5 days in a solution containing 1.2 µg Cd L–1, 68.5 µg Cu L–1 ¸ 78.4 µg Pb L–1, and 559 µg Zn L–1. Results indicate that plants could remove up to 61, 86, 94, and 52% of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn, respectively, after 0.5 h of exposure, and up to 100% of Cd, Pb, and Zn, respectively, and 98% of Cu after 5 days of exposure. There were large differences in metal removal between the investigated species. Plant size contributed more to high removal capacity than did net metal uptake per unit of fine roots. Carex pseudocyperus and C. riparia were the most efficient and versatile species because they could remove all studied metals after short exposure. In conclusion, it is possible to increase metal removal in FTW applications by selecting high-performing plant species.

  • 3.
    Schück, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Greger, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Plant traits related to the heavy metal removal capacities of wetland plantsIn: International journal of phytoremediation, ISSN 1522-6514, E-ISSN 1549-7879Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plants are the crucial component of floating treatment wetlands (FTWs). However, the heavy metal removal capacity has been shown to vary between plant species, and the connection between plant traits and differences in removal capacity is still unclear. This study had two aims, (1) determine the associations between plant traits and removal of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn from water, and (2) determine the relationships between removal patterns for these metals. Plants from 34 wetland plant species were exposed to heavy metal concentrations commonly found in stormwater for five days and twenty plant traits were measured on each plant. Results show that the most important plant traits for heavy metal removal from water are transpiration and high total biomass, especially large amounts of fine roots and leaf biomass. The same traits were generally connected to removal in the beginning and after longer exposure, with stronger correlations found after longer exposure. Plant removal of one metal likely correlated with removal of the other metals, and plant removal capacity after 30 minutes of exposure correlated with their removal capacity five days later. The results from this study can be used for selection of plants for enhanced heavy metal removal by FTWs and for identification of additional useful plant species which allows adaptation to local conditions.

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