Differential bioaccumulation of select heavy metals from wastewater by Lemna minor.
The capacity of Lemna minor to remediate toxic heavy metals from wastewater is reasonably well documented. In view of the pivotal role of this species in the environmental clean-up, here we evaluated the bioaccumulation potential of L. minor for cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and nickel (Ni) through a controlled experiment. L. minor tolerated the metals Cd, Ni, and Pb up to 0.5, 5, and 8 mg/L, respectively, and beyond these concentrations the toxicity symptoms appeared. Bio-concentration factor varied at different concentrations of heavy metals tested. Overall, L. minor showed good phytoremediation potential for all the three tested heavy metals (Cd, Ni, and Pb), though in relative terms it was more effective in extracting Ni and Cd, as compared to Pb, both in single and mixed concentrations. In view of the growing pollution in Kashmir Himalayan aquatic habitats the phytoremediation by invasive species such as L. minor promises to be one of the best choices than other native plants for cleaning up of polluted soils/water because of its fast growth rate, high abundance, easy handling, and wide distribution in Kashmir Himalayan aquatic ecosystems.