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Response of Commercial Farm Tree Species to Cadmium Stress Under Wastewater Irrigation

Z. Hussain, M. A. Tanvir, M. F. Nawaz, S. A. Wajid


Cadmium (Cd) has one of the most toxic and several hazardous impacts on ecosystem. Massive concentrations of cadmium come from anthropogenic activities such as blind use of fertilizers, pesticides, petroleum products and raw wastewater for irrigation in agriculture. Urban wastewater is one of the sources of Cd, causing serious threat to urban and agro-ecosystems. The decontamination of Cd polluted sites through phytoremediation, especially by using woody plants, is an attractive approach. Thus, a study became in thrust to assess phytoremedial potential of commercial tree species as irrigated by (Cadmium loaded) polluted water. This study was conducted from spring 2013 to spring 2014 in completely randomized design (CRD) with three treatments (irrigation) in three replicates. Six month old uniform sized seedlings of four tree species namely, Acacia ampliceps, Acacia nilotica, Azadirachta indica and Morus alba were passed through different irrigation regimes such as, canal water (IS1), domestic wastewater (IS2) and municipal wastewater (IS3). According to data analyzed, study plants were characterized for their morphological traits (shoot length, collar diameter, root length etc.). Additionally, potential for Cd (heavy metal) uptake was determined by passing the digested plant samples through atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Acacia ampliceps attained maximum shoot length (174. 67 cm) under IS2 irrigation which was 13.92% and 46.65% higher than shoot lengths gained with IS1 (153.33 cm) and IS3 (119.33 cm), respectively. A. ampliceps absorbed maximum average concentration of Cd (3.38 mg kg-1) which was 3.68%, 61.72% and 138.03% higher than A. indica, A. nilotica and M. alba respectively. Based on our findings, it is concluded that Acacia ampliceps performed better phytoremedial tree species in polluted soil and water contaminated with Cd metal as compared to A. nilotica, A. indica and M. alba.

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