Bioturbation effects on bioaccumulation of cadmium in the wetland plant Typha latifolia: A nature-based experiment

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:55am
Hoang T.K., Probst A., Orange D., Gilbert F., Elger A., Kallerhoff J., Laurent F., Bassil S., Duong T.T., Gerino M., Science of the Total Environment, 2018

The development of efficient bioremediation techniques to reduce aquatic pollutant load in natural sediment is one of the current challenges in ecological engineering. A nature-based solution for metal bioremediation is proposed through a combination of bioturbation and phytoremediation processes in experimental indoor microcosms. The invertebrates Tubifex tubifex (Oligochaeta Tubificidae) was used as an active ecological engineer for bioturbation enhancement. The riparian plant species Typha latifolia was selected for its efficiency in phyto-accumulating pollutants from sediment. Phytoremediation efficiency was estimated by using cadmium as a conservative pollutant known to bio-accumulate in plants, and initially introduced in the overlying water (20 μg Cd/L of cadmium nitrate – Cd(NO3)2·4H2O). Biological sediment reworking by invertebrates’ activity was quantified using luminophores (inert particulates). Our results showed that bioturbation caused by tubificid worms’ activity followed the bio-conveying transport model with a downward vertical velocity (V) of luminophores ranging from 16.7 ± 4.5 to 18.5 ± 3.9 cm·year− 1. The biotransport changed the granulometric properties of the surface sediments, and this natural process was still efficient under cadmium contamination. The highest value of Cd enrichment coefficient for plant roots was observed in subsurface sediment layer (below 1 cm to 5 cm depth) with tubificids addition. We demonstrated that biotransport changed the distribution of cadmium across the sediment column as well as it enhanced the pumping of this metal from the surface to the anoxic sediment layers, thereby increasing the bioaccumulation of cadmium in the root system of Typha latifolia. This therefore highlights the potential of bioturbation as a tool to be considered in future as integrated bioremediation strategies of metallic polluted sediment in aquatic ecosystems. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Hoang, T.K., Probst, A., Orange, D., Gilbert, F., Elger, A., Kallerhoff, J., Laurent, F., Bassil, S., Duong, T.T., Gerino, M., 2018. Bioturbation effects on bioaccumulation of cadmium in the wetland plant Typha latifolia: A nature-based experiment. Sci. Total Environ. 618, 1284–1297. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.237
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