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Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 61 No 12 pp 3041–3049 © IWA Publishing 2010 doi:10.2166/wst.2010.223

Arsenic hyperaccumulation by Pteris vittata and Pityrogramma calomelanos: a comparative study of uptake efficiency in arsenic-treated soils and waters

J. W. H. Yong, S. N. Tan, Y. F. Ng, K. K. K. Low, S. F. Peh, J. C. Chua and A. A. B. Lim

Natural Sciences and Science Education Academic Group, Nanyang Technological University, 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637616, Singapore E-mail: sweengin.tan@nie.edu.sg


ABSTRACT

This work comprised of the comparative study of arsenic (As) uptake efficiency by Pteris vittata and Pityrogramma calomelanos grown in (i) As amended soils (0–600 ppm) and (ii) As tainted water (40 ppb) using a new compact continuous flow phytofiltration system in a tropical greenhouse. The As hyperaccumulation efficiency was dependent on the growth medium for the two fern species. The highest level of As detected in the fronds of P. vittata was 19,300±190 ppm (dry weight basis) and 11,600±230 ppm for Pityrogramma calomelanos, after growing for 78 days in soils amended with As. In the compact continuous flow As phytofiltration system experiments, Pityrogramma calomelanos was found to perform better than P. vittata in phytofiltrating As contaminated water under waterlogged conditions. During the 167 h of phytofiltration experiment, the removal efficiency was approximately 99% and 67% for Pityrogramma calomelanos and P. vittata systems respectively, based on an initial 40 ppb As. Pityrogramma calomelanos also required a shorter acclimatization time than P. vittata under waterlogged conditions.

Keywords: brake fern; comparative study; hyperaccumulator; phytofiltration; Pityrogramma calomelanos; Pteris vittata; silver fern


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