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Phytoremediation Potential of Some Macrophytes from a Car Wash Stream in Buea, South Western Cameroon

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: Phytoremediation is a cheap and environmentally friendly technique in which green plants in situ are used to clean the soil, sediments and water of heavy metals. This study investigated the phytoremediation potential of six naturally occurring macrophytes from Nange (a stream in Buea municipality where cars have been driven into and washed for over 20 years). Plant samples were collected before and after car wash, then analysed for copper, zinc, lead and cadmium accumulation. There was an increase in concentration of all the four heavy metals in water after carwash point, with Zn having the highest concentration (0.27 mg L). Mean concentration of the heavy metals in the water showed that Zn and Pb had the highest concentrations (0.24 mg L each) while the least concentration was obtained in Cu (0.12 mg kg). Heavy metal concentrations in the sediments were higher after car wash point than before. Cadmium had the highest concentration (5.58 mg kg) while Cu had the least (0.75 mg kg). Ludwigia peruviana had the highest BAFs for all the heavy metals (22.95 for Cu, 33.41 for Zn, 21.79 for Pb and 7.85 for Cd). Species with the leasts were: Anubias barteri for Cu (7.16), Polygonum persicaria for Zn (14.28), Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum for Pb (11.60) and Vallisneria spiralis for Cd (1.98). L. peruviana had the highest BAC values (Cu = 10.11, Zn = 14.73, Pb = 11.39, Cd = 3.85) and BCF values (Cu = 12.84, Zn = 18.67, Pb = 10.40, Cd = 4.00). A. barteri had the highest TF (Cu = 1.49, Zn = 1.27, Cd = 1.99) except for Pb where both A. barteri and L. peruviana each had a TF of 1.10. While all the six plants were found to be good accumulators of the heavy metals, L. peruviana showed remarkable efficiency indicating that the species is a good candidate for cleaning such environments.

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