Both Fankou and Lechang lead/zinc (Pb/Zn) mine tailings located at Guangdong Province contained high levels of total and DTPA-extractable Pb, Zn and Cu. Paspalum distichum and Cynodon dactylon were dominant species colonized naturally on the tailings. Lead, zinc and copper accumulation and tolerance of different populations of the two grasses growing on the tailings were investigated. Tillers of these populations including those from an uncontaminated area were subjected to the following concentrations: 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mg l-1 Pb, 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 30 mg l-1 Zn, or 0.25, 0.50, 1 and 2 mg l-1 Cu for 14 days, respectively, then tolerance index (TI) and EC50 (the concentrations of metals in solutions which reduce 50% of normal root growth) were calculated. The results indicated that both Lechang and Fankou populations of the two grasses showed a greater tolerance to the three metals than those growing on the uncontaminated area, which suggested that co-tolerant ecotypes have evolved in the two grasses. P. distichum collected from Fankou tailings had the highest tolerance to Cu while Lechang population the highest tolerance to Pb and Zn among the tested populations, and tolerance levels in P. distichum were related to metal concentrations in the plants. P. distichum had a better growth performance than C. dactylon when both of them were grown on the tailings sites. Tolerant populations of these species would serve as potential candidates for re-vegetation of wastelands contaminated with Pb, Zn and Cu.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Cynodon dactylon
- Heavy metal
- Paspalum distichum