J. Bio. Env. Sci.13(6), 99-108, December 2018
Nickel miningposed a serious environmental problem due to run-offs and tailings. To address this, current techniques include excavation, chemical stabilization and soil flushing, but these methods are costly and impractical. One of the ecologically accepted treatments is phytoremediation. With the capacity of Centella asiatica (gotu kola) to thrive in moist soils with domestic effluents, this present study sought to evaluate its phytoremediation potential by employing an experimental design with three replicates of: (a) nickel-rich bio-ore soils from the mining site in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur as treatment substrates; and (b) natural background soils from Iligan City as the control substrate). Phytoremediation potential of C. asiatica was assessed through relative plant growth, bioaccumulation capacity through Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS), contamination factor (CF) computationand tolerance-accumulating mechanism through SHAPE software tool which evaluates shape variations based on elliptic Fourier descriptors. Results reveal relative growth values close to 1 which means that they have the potential to survive in nickel-contaminated condition. AAS results show a greater decrease in soil nickel content and a bigger increase in nickel accumulation in the plant samples in the nickel-ore contaminated soils than in the background (control soils). Contamination factor values indicate that soil and plant samples have very high contamination factor (6 < CF). SHAPE analysis between the control and treatment set-up shows no variations (p= 0.155) in the leaf shape of C. asiatica which indicates its tolerance-accumulating mechanism. These concerted results suggest that C. asiatica may exhibit phytoremediation potential in nickel-ore contaminated soils.
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