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Humic acid addition to improve phytoremediation capacity of vetiver grass in mine soils
Research Areas
  • Quality of the environment,
  • Soil pollution
Phytoremediation is a clean, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technology that uses plants to decontaminate soils. One specific subset of phytoremediation is phytoextraction, in which metals are removed from soil and accumulated in harvestable parts of the plant, whereas phytostabilization aims to reduce mobility of metals and to accumulate them in roots. Both techniques requires fast-growing, deep-rooted, high-biomass and metal-tolerant species and the application of soil amendments that promote metal uptake by plants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the combined use of vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides) and humic acid for phytoremediation of metals in contaminated mine soils through a pot experiment. Vetiver plants were grown in pots with soil samples collected from two mining areas (El Cuadrón, north of Madrid, Central Spain; La Unión, Murcia Region, SE Spain) mixed with a commercial humic acid derived from leonardite added at different doses: 0 (control), 2, 10 and 20 g kg-1 of soil. Metal bioavailability in soil was determined by a rhizosphere-based method, and metal concentrations (Cu and Zn) in plant tissues and plant biomass were measured among treatments. Our results showed that humic acid decreased metal bioavailability due to increasing soil pH and organic matter, reducing metal toxicity. Humic acid applied at higher doses also improved plant growth and Cu concentration in tissues due to formation of soluble metal-humic complexes, enhancing removal of this metal from soil and its accumulation in roots. Humic acid did not enhanced Zn uptake but it reduced its translocation to aerial parts. Although vetiver resulted unsuitable for phytoextraction, the use of humic acid as soil amendment at 10-20 g kg-1 effectively improved phytostabilization capacity of this species in mine soils.
5th International Eco Summit. Ecological Sustainability. Engineering Change.
Montpellier (France)
Start Date
End Date
From page
To page
Libro de actas 5th International Eco Summit
  • Autor: Javier Perez Esteban (UPM)
  • Autor: Carmen Vargas Victoriano (UPM)
  • Autor: Consuelo Escolástico León (UNED)
  • Autor: Alberto Masaguer Rodriguez (UPM)
  • Autor: Ana Maria Moliner Aramendia (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Calidad de Suelos y Aplicaciones medioambientales
  • Departamento: Producción Agraria
S2i 2021 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
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