Succulent species differ substantially in their tolerance and phytoextraction potential when grown in the presence of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn Academic Article uri icon


  • Plants for the phytoextraction of heavy metals should have the ability to accumulate high concentrations of such metals and exhibit multiple tolerance traits to cope with adverse conditions such as coexistence of multiple heavy metals, high salinity, and drought which are the characteristics of many contaminated soils. This study compared 14 succulent species for their phytoextraction potential of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn. There were species variations in metal tolerance and accumulation. Among the 14 succulent species, an Australian native halophyte Carpobrotus rossii exhibited the highest relative growth rate (20.6-26.6 mg plant(-1) day(-1)) and highest tolerance index (78-93%), whilst Sedum "Autumn Joy" had the lowest relative growth rate (8.3-13.6 mg plant(-1) day(-1)), and Crassula multicava showed the lowest tolerance indices (<50%). Carpobrotus rossii and Crassula helmsii showed higher potential for phytoextraction of these heavy metals than other species. These findings suggest that Carpobrotus rossii is a promising candidate for phytoextraction of multiple heavy metals, and the aquatic or semiterrestrial Crassula helmsii is suitable for phytoextraction of Cd and Zn from polluted waters or wetlands.

publication date

  • 2015