Screening of metal uptake by plant colonizers growing on abandoned copper mine in Kapunda, South Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • Systematic site survey for sample collection and analysis was conducted at a derelict copper (Cu) mine at Kapunda, South Australia. Cu concentrations in the soils at this former mine ranged from 65-10107 mg kg(-1). The pH and EC varied widely in the 3.9-8.4 and 152-7311 µS ranges, respectively. Nine plant species growing over the copper mine site were selected to screen for metal uptake to determine their suitability for phytoremediation. The Australian native tree species Eucalyptus camaldulensis indicated enrichment factor (EF) of 2.17, 1.89, and 1.30 for Cu, Zn, and Pb, respectively, suggesting that this species of tree can accumulate these metals to some degree. The stress-resistant exotic olive, Olea europaea exhibited EF of ≤ 0.01 for Cu, Cd, and Pb, and 0.29 for Zn, which is characteristic of an excluder plant. Acacia pycnantha, the Australian pioneer legume species with EF 0.03, 0.80, 0.32, and 0.01 for Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb, respectively, emerged as another strong metal excluder and consequently as an ideal metal stabilizer.

publication date

  • 2016