Response of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) to soil contamination with zinc
Phytoremediation is one of the ways of removing toxic metals from soil. Phytoremediation relies on using plants which are highly capable of absorbing heavy metals to remove them from soil. In order to determine the effect of the degree of soil contamination with zinc on the production of biomass and concentration of zinc in ryegrass, a pot experiment was carried out, consisting of 6 treatments in which gradually increasing doses of zinc were used: control treatment (without zinc), 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg Zn kg–1 off soil. The experiment was conducted on two types of soil, different in the cation exchange capacity: sand and sandy loam. The tested plant was perennial ryegrass cv. Nira. The toxic effect of zinc on the growth of ryegrass was much more pronounced in the case of plants grown on sand than on sandy loam. When ryegrass was grown on sand, the toxic effect of zinc was observable even when the lowest rate of zinc had been introduced to soil: the biomass of the first cut was considerably depressed. On sandy loam, the toxic effect of zinc was not manifested until the highest rate of the contaminant had been introduced to soil (400 mg Zn kg–1 of soil). The experiment has demonstrated the presence of a strong, statistically verified correlation between the content of zinc in soil extracted in 1 M HCl and the concentration and uptake of this metal in the following cuts of ryegrass. The concentration of zinc in grasses from the first cut was very high: 1660 mg Zn kg–1 d.m. on sand and 1200 mg Zn kg–1 d.m. on sandy loam. A one-year cultivation of perennial ryegrass only slightly lowered the content of zinc in soil. Although the concentration of zinc in harvested grass was very high, the total uptake was just a small percentage (1-2%) of the quantity of this metal introduced to soil. Perennial ryegrass cv. Nira is capable of accumulating very high amounts of zinc and is well tolerant to a high content of Zn in soil, which is why it can be used for sowing on land polluted with this heavy metal.
Zalewska M. 2012. Response of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) to soil contamination with zinc. J. Elem. 17(2): 329 - 343,DOI-10.5601/jelem.2012.17.2.14.
zinc, phytotoxicity, phytoremediation, perennial ryegrass