Research Paper

Heavy metal monitoring by Philonotis (Bartramiaceae, Bryophyte) and Spirogyra (Algae) in a manganese slag discharge field wetland

Dongyi Wu, Zhaohui Zhang, Zhihui Wang

Published on: 05 June 2024

Page: 244 - 256

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2024.69.244


Mining of manganese leads to significant heavy metal contamination, affecting the adjacent ecosystems. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor heavy metal levels in mining areas. This study examined heavy metal concentrations (Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr, Mo, Cd, and Pb) in vegetation and soil within the wetland area of the Zhaiying manganese slag discharge field in Songtao County, Guizhou Province, China. The assessment utilized the single-factor pollution index method (P_i), Nemerow comprehensive pollution index method (P_n), and correlation analysis. Two local plant species, Philonotis and Spirogyra, were used as sample materials. The findings revealed varying degrees of heavy metal contamination across all sites, with intensity increasing closer to the slag discharge area. Notably, Philonotis displayed a higher heavy metal accumulation capacity than Spirogyra. Statistical analysis revealed a significant positive correlation (P < 0.05) between Philonotis and soil heavy metals (Mn, Zn, and Cd) and between Spirogyra and specific soil heavy metals (Mn and Sr). Linear fit analysis indicated a strong association between Philonotis and soil manganese, suggesting that Philonotis is an effective bioindicator for monitoring environmental heavy metal pollution in slag discharge field wetlands. The manganese content in Philonotis exceeded 10,000 mg/kg, indicating potential as a hyperaccumulator, warranting further investigation. This research supports the use of Philonotis as a biological tool for monitoring heavy metal pollution in wetland ecosystems affected by manganese mining.

Keyword: Enrichment capacity, Heavy metal contamination, Hygrophyte, Monitor, Philonotis, Spirogyra

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