Author(s): Merkl N, SchultzeKraft R, Infante C
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Abstract When studying species for phytoremediation of petroleum-contaminated soils, one of the main traits is the root zone where enhanced petroleum degradation takes place. Root morphological characteristics of three tropical graminoids were studied. Specific root length (SRL), surface area, volume and average root diameter (ARD) of plants grown in crude oil-contaminated and uncontaminated soil were compared. Brachiaria brizantha and Cyperus aggregatus showed coarser roots in polluted soil compared to the control as expressed in an increased ARD. B. brizantha had a significantly larger specific root surface area in contaminated soil. Additionally, a shift of SRL and surface area per diameter class towards higher diameters was found. Oil contamination also caused a significantly smaller SRL and surface area in the finest diameter class of C. aggregatus. The root structure of Eleusine indica was not significantly affected by crude oil. Higher specific root surface area was related to higher degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons found in previous studies.
This article was published in Environ Pollut
and referenced in Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry: Open Access