Presentation Title

Influence of Lead Hyperaccumulators on Surrounding Vegetation

Advisor Information

Shannon Bartelt-Hunt

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 11:15 AM

End Date

8-3-2013 11:30 AM

Abstract

Lead, which acts as a neurotoxin, is a persistent soil pollutant present in many urban environments. Recent research suggests that vegetation grown in contaminated soil can bioaccumulate lead and become a pathway for exposure in humans. The relationship between lead concentrations in soil and its accumulation into differing plant biomass is unknown, however, it is known that plants exhibit differential uptake. Therefore, this study focused on metal-hyperaccumulating plants and whether their presence has an influence in the amount of lead present in surrounding vegetation. To conduct this study, contaminated soil was obtained through the EPA. Tomatoes, carrots, and amaranth were planted alongside mustard greens and sunflowers, the hyperaccumulators of interest. Samples of the vegetation and soil were then taken in triplicate and processed with nitric acid to extract the lead and lead concentrations were determined using atomic adsorption spectroscopy. We expected to see a smaller presence of lead in the vegetation grown next to the hyperaccumulators. If hyperaccumulators do have an impact on the lead concentrations in surrounding vegetation, it will provide an additional tool for reducing lead exposure in humans.

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Mar 8th, 11:15 AM Mar 8th, 11:30 AM

Influence of Lead Hyperaccumulators on Surrounding Vegetation

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Lead, which acts as a neurotoxin, is a persistent soil pollutant present in many urban environments. Recent research suggests that vegetation grown in contaminated soil can bioaccumulate lead and become a pathway for exposure in humans. The relationship between lead concentrations in soil and its accumulation into differing plant biomass is unknown, however, it is known that plants exhibit differential uptake. Therefore, this study focused on metal-hyperaccumulating plants and whether their presence has an influence in the amount of lead present in surrounding vegetation. To conduct this study, contaminated soil was obtained through the EPA. Tomatoes, carrots, and amaranth were planted alongside mustard greens and sunflowers, the hyperaccumulators of interest. Samples of the vegetation and soil were then taken in triplicate and processed with nitric acid to extract the lead and lead concentrations were determined using atomic adsorption spectroscopy. We expected to see a smaller presence of lead in the vegetation grown next to the hyperaccumulators. If hyperaccumulators do have an impact on the lead concentrations in surrounding vegetation, it will provide an additional tool for reducing lead exposure in humans.