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Trace element and nutrient accumulation in sunflower plants twoyears after the Aznalcóllar mine spill

AuthorsMadejón, Paula ; Murillo Carpio, José Manuel ; Marañón, Teodoro ; Cabrera, Francisco ; Soriano, Mª Auxiliadora
KeywordsGuadiamar river
Heavy metals
Helianthus annuus
Pyrite tailings
Issue DateMay-2003
CitationThe Science of the Total Environment 307(1-3): 239-257 (2003)
AbstractThe failure of a tailing pond dam at the Aznalco´ llar pyrite mine (SW Spain) in April 1998 released a toxic spill affecting approximately 4300 ha along the Agrio and Guadiamar valleys.T wo years later, we have studied yield and concentration of mineral nutrients and trace elements in sunflower plants grown in the spill-affected soil, and in an adjacent unaffected soil as comparison.The study has been carried out in plants at seedling (V4) and mature (R8) stages.Shoot and root biomass of sunflower seedlings was significantly smaller in the affected soil than in the unaffected soil, but there was no significant difference at the mature stage.Oil production was greater in the spillaffected plants.W e have not detected any ‘fertilising’ effect caused by the acid waters of the spill on the main nutrient (N, P and Ca) acquisition, as documented in 1998 for sunflower plants flooded by the spill.Sunflower plants growing in the spill-affected soil reached adequate levels of nutrients.None of the trace elements measured—As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Tl—reached levels either phytotoxic or toxic for humans or animals in seeds and the above-ground part of the spill-affected plants.W e evaluate the potential use of sunflower plants for phytoremediation. The potential for phytoextraction is very low; however, it may be used for soil conservation.The production of oil (usable for industrial purposes) may add some value to this crop.
Description19 pages, 3 figures, 5 tables, 36 references.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0048-9697Ž02.00609-5
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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