Metal and Phosphorus Uptake by Spontaneous Vegetation in an abandoned iron mine from a Semiarid Area in Center Morocco: Implications for Phytoextraction


  • Mohamed Nouri
  • Fernando Gonçalves
  • Jausé Paulo Sousa
  • Jörg Jörg Römbke
  • Mohamed Ksibi
  • Ruth Pereira
  • Abdelmajid Haddioui



mining site, bioaccumulation, native plants, BCF, TF


Spontaneously growing native plants (belonging to 12 species, 10 genera, and 3 families) were analyzed to study the accumulation of Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn, Pb, Fe and P in shoots and roots. The different plant species collected in Ait Amar iron mining site exhibited large differences in shoot and root accumulation of metals. Among the grass species (Apiaceae, Asteraceae and Poaceae), the highest shoot Cd, Cu, Zn concentrations were found in Echinops spinosus L (0.989, 29.190 and 175.347 mg Kg-1 respectively), Cr in Cladanthus arabicus (L) Class (9.241 mg Kg-1) and Pb, Fe and P in Leontodon hispidilus (Delile) Boiss (5.952, 1522.839  and 4612.795 mg Kg-1). The highest bioconcentration factors (BCF) were recorded for E. spinosus L and Zn (1.68). The highest soil-plant transfer factor (TF) of Cd was 1.24 (Stipa Capensis thumb), of Cr was 2.01 (C. arabicus (L) Class), of Cu was 8.40 (Carthamus lanatus L), of Zn was 2.52 (E. spinosus L), of Pb was 7.00 (Eryngium ilicifolium Lam), of P was 537.72 (E. ilicifolium Lam) and of Fe was 0.52 (L. hispidilus (Delile) Boiss). E. spinosus L showed the highest Zn phytoextraction capacity and other plant species demonstrated to grow well in metal contaminated soil taking up only low concentrations of metals, and, therefore they are good candidates for phytostabilization.