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Accumulation and depuration of metals by Duckweed (Lemna perpusilla)
Clark, J.R.; VanHassel, J.H.; Nicholson, R.B.; Cherry, D.S.; Cairns, Jr., J. (1981). Accumulation and depuration of metals by Duckweed (Lemna perpusilla). Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf. 5: 87-96
In: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. Academic Press/Elsevier: Amsterdam, Netherlands etc.. ISSN 0147-6513, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Bioaccumulation; Cadmium; Chromium; Copper; Fate; Heavy metals; Iron; Lead; Manganese; Nickel; Seasonal variations; Zinc; Lemna L. [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Clark, J.R.
  • VanHassel, J.H.
  • Nicholson, R.B.
  • Cherry, D.S.
  • Cairns, Jr., J.

Abstract
    Duckweed (L. perpusilla ), inhabiting a heavy coal ash, secondary retaining basin from a coal-fired power plant, was the most abundant macrophyte sampled during the summer-fall period of 1979. Lemna in the basin accumulated the most abundant heavy and soft metals (Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Pb, Ni) affiliated with heavy ash to a greater extent than found in water or coal ash sediment. After a14-day holding period under laboratory conditions of low metal influence, some duckweed metal concentrations declined to levels similar to those found in the ash basin sediments, while other tissue concentrations remained higher. During the 10-day laboratory exposure bioassay after the depuration period, high duckweed mortality was evident within 2 to 10 days at concentrations of 10x and higher. The capacity of duckweed to accumulate potentially toxic heavy metals in coal-ash-retaining systems may have an important role upon the displacement of these elements on a seasonal basis. Aquatic elemental releases of duckweed may be minimal during the growing season due to the bioconcentration capability but can be maximal in the fall during the process of natural mortality and the resulting depuration process into the receiving drainage system.

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