Effect of Lead Stress on Growth and Mineral Elements of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn and Artemisia absinthium L.

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Range Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Sciences and Forest Engineering, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, P.O.Box:# 578

3 Department of Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran

4 Soil Science Department, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


Identifying morphoanatomica, physiological and biochemical responses of plants exposed to heavy metals is important for the vegetation restoration on coal mine sites. In this study, the effects of lead (Pb) were assessed on the growth and mineral nutrient content of Artemisia absinthium and Silybum marianum. A factorial experiment based on a completely randomized design was conducted with three replicates in a glasshouse using Pb(NO3)2 at 0 (control), 300 and 600 mg/L as treatment. After two months of the growth period, plants were harvested and their growth characteristics and mineral elements were measured for roots and shoots. The results showed that there was no effect of Pb stress on roots and shoots of A. absinthium while root biomass and volume of S. marianum significantly reduced under Pb treatments. The Pb content in roots of both plant species and in shoots of S. marianum increased. The maximum level of Pb accumulation was found in shoots and roots of S. marianum with 14.73 and 57.16 mg/kg dry matter, respectively. The Pb translocation factor was less than one for both plant species. Fe content in the shoot of S. marianum significantly increased under Pb stress. Mn concentration in the shoot of S. marianum was significantly greater than that in A. absinthium. According to the presence of these plants on coal mine waste and their abilities to grow and accumulate Pb in high concentrations, they can be used for soil remediation in a similar situations or in Pb-contaminated soils. 


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