Bioaccumulation of heavy metals by the aquatic plants Potamogeton pectinatus L. and Potamogeton malaianus Miq. and their potential use for contamination indicators and in wastewater treatment

Kejian Peng, Chunling Luo, Laiqing Lou, Xiangdong Li, Zhenguo Shen

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187 Citations (Scopus)


The concentrations of heavy metals in the leaves of two aquatic plants Potamogeton pectinatus L. and Potamogeton malaianus Miq., and the corresponding water and sediment samples from the Donghe River in Jishou City of Hunan Province, China were studied to investigate metal contamination from the intensive industrial activities in the surrounding area. Results showed that the concentrations of heavy metals in the sediments, especially Cd, Mn and Pb, were much higher than the eco-toxic threshold values developed by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Between the two plant species, P. pectinatus showed the higher capacity in metal accumulation. The highest concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn and Mn were found in the leaves of P. pectinatus, reaching 596, 318, 62.4, 6590 and 16,000 mg kg- 1(DW), respectively. Significantly positive relationships were observed among the concentrations of Zn, Cu and Mn in the leaves of both aquatic plants and those in water, indicating the potential use of the two plants for pollution monitoring of these metals. In addition, a laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the ability of P. pectinatus and P. malaianus to remove heavy metals from contaminated river water. The average removal efficiencies by P. pectinatus and P. malaianus for Cd, Pb, Mn, Zn and Cu from the spiked Donghe River water were 92%, 79%, 86%, 67% and 70%, respectively. The results indicated that P. pectinatus and P. malaianus had high capabilities to remove heavy metals directly from the contaminated water. The potential use of these plants in wastewater treatment is worth further exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2008


  • Contaminated water
  • Heavy metals
  • Potamogeton malaianus Miq.
  • Potamogeton pectinatus L.
  • Sediment
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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