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Soil-plant relationships of metallophytes of the zinc-lead-copper Dugald River gossan, Queensland, Australia

Abstract : Background and aims Metallophytes are plants that can tolerate extreme metal concentrations in the soil in which they grow. The Dugald River zinc (Zn)-lead (Pb) gossan in Queensland (Australia) is one of the largest metal deposits in the world with a surface gossan formed after weathering over millions of years. It hosts a range of metallophytes which may have potential to be used in mine site rehabilitation. This study aimed to investigate the soil-plant relationships of metallophytes on the Dugald River gossan. Methods Plant samples and associated rooting soil samples were collected across the gossan and then analysed for metal concentrations. Soil-plant metal relationships were subsequently explored to characterise the species in relation to metal uptake behaviour. Results The metallophyte grass, Eriachne mucronata, dominated the gossan, yet there appeared to be no direct relationship between the occurrence of metallophytes and prevailing soil metal concentrations. Using transformation-based redundancy analysis (tb-RDA), two groups of metals, copper (Cu) and Zn-Cadmium (Cd), have been identified to be the primary metals driving species distribution. Crotalaria novae-hollandiae, was able to accumulate high concentrations of each of these metals in its leaves, with up to 16,200 mg Zn kg(-1), 545 mg Cu kg(-1) and 170 mg Cd kg(-1). Conclusions Soil metal concentrations alone are not suitable indications for metallophyte distribution or composition in a polymetallic environment. Crotalaria novae-hollandiae can tolerate high concentrations of metals and accumulate Zn-Cu-Cd above the respective hyperaccumulation thresholds; the species can be described for the first time as a strong polymetallic indicator-type metallophyte
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Submitted on : Friday, April 8, 2022 - 10:26:07 AM
Last modification on : Monday, April 11, 2022 - 3:27:53 PM




Roger Tang, Peter Erskine, Philip Nti Nkrumah, Guillaume Echevarria, Antony van der Ent. Soil-plant relationships of metallophytes of the zinc-lead-copper Dugald River gossan, Queensland, Australia. Plant and Soil, Springer Verlag, 2022, 471 (1-2), pp.227-245. ⟨10.1007/s11104-021-05209-z⟩. ⟨hal-03635007⟩



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