Aquatic and terrestrial plant species with potential to remove heavy metals from stormwater
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Aquatic and Terrestrial Plant Species with Potential to Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater. By: Asa Fritioff & Maria Greger Department of Botany Stockholm University Source: International Journal of Phytoremediation Date Published: May 3 rd , 2003

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Aquatic and terrestrial plant species with potential to remove heavy metals from stormwater l.jpg

Aquatic and Terrestrial Plant Species with Potential to Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

By: Asa Fritioff & Maria Greger

Department of Botany

Stockholm University

Source: International Journal of Phytoremediation

Date Published: May 3rd, 2003

Presenter: Gianna Grabowski


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Thesis & Importance of Article Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • Percolation systems or wetlands contain plant species that are capable of phtyoremediating stormwater contaminated with heavy metals.

  • The most toxic metals commonly found in stormwater were used in this study, including cadmium, copper, zinc, and lead.


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Important Terms Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • Stormwater= is where impervious surfaces, such as roads and roofs, drain rain and snow melt water. It is mostly contaminated by organic pollutants, oil, and heavy metals,

  • Phytoremediation= is a process where contamination is either stabilized, eliminated, removed, or destroyed by plants.


Background l.jpg
Background Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • Heavy metal concentrations are usually greater in stormwater than in naturally occurring waters.

  • Wetland/percolation area treatment of stormwater is preferable over other methods.

  • Contaminated areas contain a variety of plant species with differing capabilities for heavy metal remediation.


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Background Continued Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • Terrestrial and emergent plant species exist in percolation areas.

  • Free-floating, submerged, and emergent plants occur in wetlands.

  • The most effective metal remediating plants were needed for this study.

  • To determine this, a metal concentration analysis was done on the most common plants found in the study area.


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Methods- Field Study Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • Three sampling areas were used for the field experiment, labeled Areas 1, 2, and 3.

  • They were all located 7-15 km south of Stockholm, Sweden.

  • Plants and soil samples were taken from all 3 areas on the same day.

  • Plant samples were collected from the most abundant species in the 3 areas, such as P. natans (submersed), L. gibba (free-floating), A. plantago-aquatica (emergent), and F. ulmaria (terrestrial).

  • Plant samples were divided into root and shoot sections.

  • 12 species total were used in this study.


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Plant Species Used in This Study Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater


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Methods- Controlled Study Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • The plant species F. ulmaria, P. natans, and A. plantago-aquatica were used in this experiment.

  • A heavy metal mixture was added to half of the plant samples, the others were left as controls.

  • All plants were cleaned with water.

  • A flame absorption spectrophotometer determined the metal concentrations.

  • ANOVA was used to statistically analyze the data.


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Results Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • Zinc concentrations in plants were between 16-451µg 1/g DW.

  • Copper concentrations in plants were between 2.7-94 µg 1/g DW

  • Cadmium concentrations in plants were between 04-48 µg -1 DW

  • Lead concentrations in plants were between 30-26 µg 1/g DW


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Zinc Conc. ( Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwaterµg 1/g DW) in Plants and Soil During Field Test


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Conc. of Metals in Plants During Controlled Experiment Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater


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Discussion Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • The submersed plant species removed more metal contaminants (e.g. P. natans).

  • The three areas showed that different plant species contain various levels of metal concentrations.

  • The plants showed an ability to intake more contaminants at higher metal concentration periods. (e.g. heavy rains).

  • The majority of the terrestrial and aquatic plants used in this study were effective at removing heavy metal contamination from stormwater.


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Critique Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • Good and important study.

  • Needed more plant species in the controlled study.

  • Lack of data from other types of stormwater contamination studies.

  • Plant and soil collection occurred on only 1 day in both the field and controlled experiments.


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Contact Information Remove Heavy Metals from Stormwater

  • For more information please contact:

    Gianna M. Grabowski

    (586) 773-0723

    [email protected]

  • Questions???


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