Bioavailability of metals to aquatic plants is dependent on many factors including ambient metal concentration, pH of soil or water, concentration of ligands, competition with other metals for binding sites, and mode of exposure. Plants may be exposed to metals through water, air, or soil, depending on growth form. This paper examines the influence of soil type under two regimens of water acidification on metal uptake by four species of aquatic macrophytes: smartweed (Polygonum sagittatum), burreed (Sparganium americanum), pondweed (Potamogeton diversifolius), and bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) in constructed, experimentally acidified wetlands. Soil types consisted of a comparatively high-metal clay or a lower-metal sandy loam. Each pond was either acidified to pH ca. 4.85.3 or allowed to remain circumneutral. Metal concentrations tended to be higher in the submerged bladderwort and pondweed than in the emergent burreed and smartweed. Soils were important to plant metal concentrations in all species, but especially in the emergents. Acidification influenced plant concentrations of some metals and was especially important in the submerged pondweed. Bioaccumulation of metals occurred for Mn, B, Sr, Ba, and Zn, compared to soil concentrations.
Additional publication details
Metal concentrations in aquatic macrophytes as influenced by soil and acidification