Lead and zinc accumulation and tolerance in populations of six wetland plants.
Wetland plants such as Typha latifolia and Phragmites australis have been indicated to show a lack of evolution of metal tolerance in metal-contaminated populations. The aim of the present study is to verify whether other common wetland plants such as Alternanthera philoxeroides and Beckmannia syzigachne, also possess the same characteristics. Lead and zinc tolerances in populations of six species collected from contaminated and clean sites were examined by hydroponics. In general, the contaminated populations did not show higher metal tolerance and accumulation than the controls. Similar growth responses and tolerance indices in the same metal treatment solution between contaminated and control populations suggest that metal tolerance in wetland plants are generally not further evolved by contaminated environment. The reasons may be related to the special root anatomy in wetland plants, the alleviated metal toxicity by the reduced rooting conditions and the relatively high innate metal tolerance in some species.