Growth and metal accumulation in vetiver and two Sesbania species on lead/zinc mine tailings

B. Yang, W. S. Shu, Z. H. Ye, C. Y. Lan, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


The lead (Pb)/zinc (Zn) tailings contained high concentrations of heavy metals (total Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd concentrations 4164, 4377, 35 and 32 mg kg -1, respectively), and low contents of major nutrient elements (N, P, and K) and organic matter. A field trial was conducted to compare growth performance, metal accumulation of Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) and two legume species (Sesbania rostrata and Sesbania sesban) grown on the tailings amended with domestic refuse and/or fertilizer. It was revealed that domestic refuse alone and the combination of domestic refuse and artificial fertilizer significantly improved the survival rates and growth of V. zizanioides and two Sesbania species, especially the combination. However, artificial fertilizer alone did not improve both the survival rate and growth performance of the plants grown on tailings. Roots of these species accumulated similar levels of heavy metals, but the shoots of two Sesbania species accumulated higher (3-4 folds) concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd than shoots of V. zizanioides. Most of the heavy metals in V. zizanioides were accumulated in roots, and the translocation of metals from roots to shoots was restricted. Intercropping of V. zizanioides and S. rostrata did not show any beneficial effect on individual plant species, in terms of height, biomass, survival rate, and metal accumulation, possibly due to the rather short experimental period of 5 months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593-1600
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Growth performance
  • Intercropping
  • Pb/Zn mine
  • Sesbania rostrata
  • Sesbania sesban
  • Tailings amendment
  • Vetiveria zizanioides


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