Toxicity of Inorganic Mercury to Native Australian Grass Grown in Three Different Soils

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 2017, 98 (6), pp. 850 - 855
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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. In this study, three native Australian grasses namely Iseilema membranaceum (Barcoo), Dichanthium sericeum (Queensland Blue) and Sporobolus africanus (Tussock) were grown in three different soils spiked with different concentrations of inorganic mercury and the root elongation was monitored up to 28 days following the germination. Results showed that mercury at certain concentrations significantly inhibited the root growth of all three tested native grasses grown in three soils, however, the toxicity was less in the soil with high organic carbon content and acidic pH. The calculated EC50 values ranged from 10 to 224 mg/kg total Hg in soil. However, the EC10 values indicated that existing guideline values for mercury may be of protective to the native Australian vegetation. Considering their tolerance to soil mercury, these grass species have the potential for their use in rehabilitation of mercury contaminated sites.
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