Title: Aluminium accumulation in Pteris cretica and trace element uptake in vegetation growing on an abandoned aluminium smelter site in Knoxville, TN, USA

Authors: Jason M. Abercrombie, Melanie Stewart, Murali R. Rao, Michael E. Essington, C. Neal Stewart Jr.

Addresses: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, 2431 Joe Johnson Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996-4561, USA. ' Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, 2506 E.J. Chapman Dr., Knoxville, TN 37996-4531, USA. ' Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, 2431 Joe Johnson Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996-4561, USA. ' Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, 2506 E.J. Chapman Dr., Knoxville, TN 37996-4531, USA. ' Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, 2431 Joe Johnson Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996-4561, USA

Abstract: Smokey Mountain Smelters in Knoxville, Tennessee USA is an abandoned aluminium smelter where smelter waste (slag) was dumped on site. ICP analyses indicated the highest slag metal concentrations were 223,000 mg kg−1 Al, 281 mg kg−1 As, 132 mg kg−1 Se, and 2910 mg kg−1 Cu. Metal uptake was quantified in plants growing on slag. Our data indicates that P. cretica accumulates Al in high concentrations, but not As, when grown in slag. Metal concentrations in vegetation grown on slag were lower than controls grown in uncontaminated soil, suggesting low metal availability or root exclusion mechanisms.

Keywords: phytoremediation; toxic metals; aluminium uptake; Pteris cretica; hyperaccumulators; trace elements; abandoned aluminium smelters; USA; United States; smelter waste; slag; vegetation; environmental pollution.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2011.040277

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2011 Vol.45 No.4, pp.310 - 326

Available online: 23 May 2011 *

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