American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Suitability of Using Phragmites australis and Tamarix aphylla as Vegetation Filters in Industrial Areas

Wafa’a A. Al-Taisan

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2009.740.747

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 6

Pages 740-747

Abstract

Problem Statement: Many soils of different areas of the world are subjected to heavy metal pollution due to human activities especially the industry. These metals are hazardous to human health and could affect ecosystems. Toxic metal pollution in water and soil is a major environmental problem and most conventional remediation approaches do not provide acceptable solution, hence the studies of reducing such effects were launched. Phytoremediation, popularly known as green clean is an ecologically recommended strategy for the removal of toxic contaminations from the environment by using plants. Approach: The present study is an attempt to assess the suitability of using two species namely: Phragmites australis and Ttamarix aphylla as vegetation filterers in an industrial area to reduce the danger of contamination of heavy metals in the environment. The studied species viz. Phragmites australis and Tamarix aphylla were collected at four different locations (A, B, C and D) around a petrochemical and detergents factory in the industrial areas of Eastern Region, Dammam city, Saudi Arabia. The concentrations of seven heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Pb, Ni, Cd and Cu) were evaluated in different organs of Phragmites australis and Tamarix aphylla. Also, Soil samples were collected from each location for the chemical and mechanical analyses. Results: The results showed that the concentrations of heavy metals in Phragmites australis and Tamarix aphllya exhibited the same trend. In shoots of the studied species, Zn accumulated less heavy metals than the under ground parts, creeping rhizome and roots. The highest bioaccumulation factor (BAF) for Cd and Zn was noted in location B. In general, Zn was the most absorbed element followed by Fe, Mn while Ni as well as Pb and Cd were accumulated in lower quantities. In chemical and physical analyses of soil samples, location C showed the highest concentration of all of the investigated elements and it is the most alkaline with more clay and organic carbon. Conclusion/Recommendation: The present results demonstrated that both species are significant as vegetation filter and for cleaning the soils from contamination with heavy metals by phytoextraction. There is a great need to use the advantages of these plants in phytoremediation of environment. In the same time continuous harvesting of their shoots could be suitable way to recycling heavy metals.

Copyright

© 2009 Wafa’a A. Al-Taisan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.