At a site in Udine, Italy, a 0.7 m layer of As, Co, Cu, Pb and Zn contaminated wastes derived from mineral roasting for sulphur extraction had been covered with an unpolluted 0.15 m layer of gravelly soil. This study investigates whether woody biomass phytoremediation is a realistic management option. Comparing ploughing and subsoiling (0.35 m depth), the growth of Populus and Salix and trace element uptake were investigated in both pot and field trials. Species differences were marginal and species selection was not critical. Impaired above-ground productivity and low translocation of trace elements showed that bioavailable contaminant stripping was not feasible. The most significant finding was of coarse and fine roots proliferation in surface layers that provided a significant sink for trace elements.We conclude that phytostabilisation and effective immobilisation of metals and As could be achieved at the site by soil amelioration combined with woody species establishment. Confidence to achieve a long-term and sustainable remediation requires a more complete quantification of root dynamics and a better understanding of rhizosphere processes.
Phytoremediation trials on metal- and arsenic-contaminated pyrite wastes (Torviscosa, Italy) / VAMERALI T.; BANDIERA M; COLETTO L; ZANETTI F; DICKINSON N M; MOSCA G. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION. - ISSN 0269-7491. - 157 (3)(2009), pp. 884-891. [10.1016/j.envpol.2008.11.003]