Wetland plant uptake of desorption-resistant organic compounds from sediments

Cesar Gomez-Hermosillo, John H. Pardue, Danny D. Reible

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Wetland plant uptake of 14C-labeled phenanthrene and chlorobenzene was investigated in greenhouse studies using sediment prepared to contain only the desorption-resistant fraction of the contaminant. Measurements of contaminant distribution in the plants and root-contaminant partition coefficients were conducted as well as estimates of the transpiration stream concentration of chlorobenzene and phenanthrene. Plant uptake of desorption-resistant phenanthrene and chlorobenzene occurred primarily in the root zone with total uptake ranging from 3.8 to 5.7% of the initial concentration in the sediment. Observed uptake of the compounds was remarkably similar despite wide differences in contaminant properties. A biphasic sorption isotherm was combined with a simple translocation model to predict plant uptake from two processes: root sorption and translocation. The model predicted the observed uptake well and may serve as an important tool for estimating plant uptake in sediments containing a desorption-resistant fraction. The potential implications of the existence of a finite, desorption-resistant pool of contaminants on phytoremediation of sediments are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3229-3236
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2006


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