John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ecotoxicological responses of three ornamental herb species to cadmium

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Cadmium is one of the most toxic elements. The ideal vegetal cover should be ensured by the selection of appropriate plant species for successful phytoremediation. In the present study, the ecotoxicological effects of Cd on the following 3 ornamental herbs were investigated: Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Based on the inhibition rate of seed germination, root and shoot elongation, early seedling growth, median inhibition concentration (IC50) values, and index of tolerance (IT) values, ecotoxicological indicators were determined. The results showed that 10 μM to 50 μM Cd had little effect on seed germination or root and shoot elongation of the 3 ornamental herbs (p > 0.01). With an increase in Cd concentrations, alfalfa (M. sativa) was the most sensitive to Cd toxicity in terms of seed germination and root elongation. Based on the IC50 of root elongation, Italian ryegrass (L. multiflorum) was the least sensitive to Cd. Based on the IC50 of seed germination and shoot elongation, white clover had the least sensitivity to Cd. Among the 3 ornamental herbs, based on the IC50 of seed germination and root and shoot elongation, alfalfa (M. sativa) was all the most sensitive plant. According to the index of tolerance, Italian ryegrass (L. multiflorum) was the most tolerant plant. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:xx–xx. © 2013 SETAC

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