UNESCO Chair in Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center, Armenia
Title: Importance of aquatic macrophytes in controlling water quality
Lilit Vardanyan has completed her Ph.D. from Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia and did her doctoral research at the Institute of Hydroecology and Ichthyology NAS Armenia, University of Hohenheim in Germany, National Institute of Oceanography in India and Israel Nature Parks in Israel. She has been twice awarded from Indian National Science Academy, INTAS, DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service). She did her postdoctoral research in Germany and Sweden. Currently she holds a position of Leading Scientist at the UNESCO Chair- LSIPEC, Armenia. She has several publications in per reviewed international scientific journals.
Bioavailability and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in aquatic ecosystems is gaining tremendous significance globally. Several of the submerged, emergent and free-floating aquatic macrophytes are known to accumulate and bioconcentrate heavy metals and serve as useful indicators of water pollution. They are unchangeable biological filters and they carry out purification of the water bodies by accumulating dissolved metals and toxins in their tissue. Macrophytes take up heavy metals mainly through the roots, although uptake through the leaves may also be of significance. Aquatic plants often grow more vigorously where nutrient loading is high. They are capable of removing water-soluble substances from solution and temporarily immobilizing them within a living system. This study was focused on assessment of metals accumulation in certain aquatic macrophytes (biomonitors), in comparison with water and sediment (abiotic monitors) of Lake Sevan, Armenia. Concentrations of Fe, Mn, Cu and Pb were measured in water, sediment and plant samples, namely in stems and leaves of Potamogeton pectinatus, Polygonum amphibium L., Lycopus europaeus L., Lemna minor, Typha angustifolia L. and Typha latifolia L. The concentrations of all investigated metals were higher in sediment than in water. Most of the heavy metals tend to get accumulated maximum in root whereas flower shows minimum accumulation. The application of macrophytes can be possible in finding of solutions for problems of protection, sanitation and revitalization of different aquatic ecosystems and in in reducing the effect of high concentration of metal in the environment.