HEAVY METALS ACCUMULATION IN DESERT PLANT BIODIVERSITYSUFIA IRFAN AND AISHAH ALATAWI
Biological entities are an essential medium for the transfer and bio magnification of heavy metals into the ecosystem.However, to overcome this problem of environmental pollution, terrestrial plants are being used to minimize the detrimental impacts on ecosystem and their risks to human health. The present research was performed to investigate the heavy metal concentrations in the root, stem, and leaves of native plant species selected from the three study sites (industrial, agriculture and uninhabited) in the Northwestern region (Tabuk) of Saudi Arabia. Desert plants such as Amaranthusvirdis, Hyoscyamusmuticus, Sonchusarvensis, Sisymbriumofficinale, Chenopodium album, Cyperusesculentus and Phragmitesaustralis were selected to determine the metal accumulation. In the industrial area soil Cu, Cd, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Fe concentrations were 1.52Â±0.02, 1.36Â±0.05, 1.71Â±0.02, 1.41Â±0.03, 1.28Â±0.03, and 1.56Â±0.02 Âµg/mg, respectively. Uninhabited area soil had an elevated level of Cr (2.25Â±0.01 Âµg/mg) and Fe (2.15Â±0.02 Âµg/mg) concentration, whereas Ni concentration was (0.81Â±0.03 Âµg/mg). Among plant species, Phragmitesaustralis from the agricultural and industrial site has shown highest metal accumulation compared to other native weeds. There was a variation in metal accumulation among plant species and tissue bodies.Not all the plant species were identified as hyper metal accumulators, but they can be grown to remediate the contaminants from the polluted soil around industrial and other barren, arid lands.
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