Heavy Metal Uptake by Novel Miscanthus Seed-Based Hybrids Cultivated in Heavy Metal Contaminated Soil

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Abstract

When heavy metal contaminated soils are excluded from food production, biomass crops offer an alternative commercial opportunity. Perennial crops have potential for phytoremediation. Whilst the conditions at heavy metal contaminated sites are challenging, successful phytoremediation would bring significant economic and social benefits. Seed-based Miscanthus hybrids were tested alongside the commercial clone Miscanthus × giganteus on arable land, contaminated with Pb, Cd and Zn near Katowice. Before the randomized experimental plots were established (25m2 plots with plant density 2/m2) ‘time-zero’ soil samples were taken to determine initial levels of total (aqua regia) and bioavailable (CaCl2 extraction) concentration of Pb, Cd and Zn. After the growing season plant material was sampled during autumn (October, green harvest) and winter (March, brown harvest) to determine differences in heavy metal uptake. Results after the first growing season are presented, including the plot establishment success, biomass yield and heavy metal uptake.

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