Phytoremediation of metal contaminated soils in Arctic areas

Lead Author Irina, Shtangeeva
Institution Contact St. Petersburg University, Universitetskaya nab., 7/9, St. Petersburg 199034 Russia
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.6 Strategies for ecosystem services and sustainable environmental management of soils and contaminated areas in the Arctic
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 01:30 PM - 01:45 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Remediation of polluted soil is currently one of the most important and difficult tasks. This problem is of particular importance for many territories. Unfortunately, different soil remediation techniques used today are too costly and, moreover, can lead to destruction of the soil, i.e., decrease “soil health”. Since metals usually accumulate within upper soil layer, it seems possible to remove the metals from the soil using metal accumulating plants. Transfer of elements in the soil – plant system is natural process and no destruction of the soil will follow. Such a technique is cost-effective and thus, represents an economical solution of the problem. About 20 years ago application of the plants to clean up contaminated soil became an area of intense study in Europe and the United States. However, it was found in the short run that wide implementation of this technique is limited by sufficiently low rate of transfer of toxicants from soil to the plants. In north areas, an application of phytoremediation may additionally be limited by low temperature and as a result, low rate of the development of the plant biomass.
Meanwhile, it may be suggested that possibilities of the phytoremediation technique are still not fully used. It is of critical importance to improve our understanding of chemical processes in the soil to be able to predict under which circumstances metals will be dissolved and become available to plants.
The main goals of our research were to assess potential possibilities of application of phytoremediation technique in contaminated soil in Arctic and make an estimate of chemical processes in the soil characterized by different types and levels of contamination.
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