Heavy metal Phytoremediation potentials of Lepidum sativum L., Lactuca sativa L., Spinacia oleracea L. and Raphanus sativus L

This study assessed the potential phytoremedial use of Lepidum sativum L. spp. sativum (cress), Lactuca sativa L. convar. sativa (lettuce), Spinacia oleracea L. (spinach) and Raphanus sativus L. var. niger (radish). These plants are commonly grown agricultural crops near the Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC) area in Cyprus. Potted plants of these species were irrigated with water from three CMC tailing ponds. Plants of each species were transplanted into plastic pots filled with 5 kg of sandy soils. Higher concentrations of four heavy metals were found in plant tissues: arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe), and lead (Pb). The most suitable plant species for the remediation of As and Pb was found to be L. sativa with Rf of 15.30% and 12.92%, respectively. L. sativum, R. sativus and S. oleracea are less suitable for the remediation of those elements with smaller Rf. For other tested elements: Cd and Fe, none of the test plants’ Rf were found to be above 1.61% which is very low and makes the test plants un-suitable for the remediation of Cd and Fe.

Keywords: Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC), Lactuca sativa L., Lepidium sativum L., phytoremediation, Raphanus sativus L., Spinacia oleracea L.