Evaluation of ecotoxicity of contaminated water for validation of phytoremediation time
Phytoremediation has been used as an alternative for removal of heavy metals in aquatic environments, but plant residence time and toxicity reduction need to be studied. Ecotoxicological bioassays and root anatomic studies were conducted in order to validate the phytoremediation of Echinochloa crus-galli L. at three different ages. The experiment was conducted using E. crus-galli seeds with processing factorial experimental design (2x3) and four replicates. Cadmium presence and absence (0.8 and 0 mg L-1) at three times (20, 30, and 45 days after germination). Cd levels were quantified by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy on both aerial parts and roots. A bioassay was performed testing both acute and chronic effects using microcrustacean Daphnia similis with the purpose of evaluating phytoremediation efficiency. Regardless of biomass, E. crus-galli L. can be used for 16 to 19 days for 45 days after germination (DAG), tolerating the phytotoxicity of this metal. The residual solution after phytoremediation had chronic effect on D. similis, indicating that the time taken was not sufficient to reduce the toxicity of the solution. Thus, ecotoxicological essays are important tools in evaluating the efficiency of this type of process. While E. crus-galli L. is a valuable tool in Cd phytoremediation programs, exposure time must be higher than 19 days to reduce concentrations of this metal in the water to conform to the CONAMA 357/2005 e 430/2011 standards.
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