Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2015, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (1): 63-71.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0007

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparison of phosphorus uptake and accumulation capacity among three plant species

WU Hao1,2, LU Zhi-Jun1, HUANG Han-Dong1, JIANG Ming-Xi1,*()   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    and 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2014-07-07 Accepted:2014-11-02 Online:2015-01-10 Published:2015-01-22
  • Contact: Ming-Xi JIANG
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Abstract: Aims

Phosphorus mining wasteland is a very special kind of degraded ecosystems, where vegetation and landscape are severely damaged. Our objective was to select plants suitable for phytoremediation of phosphorus-rich soils in mining wasteland.


We conducted pot experiments to investigate phosphorus uptake and accumulation capacity in Helianthus annuus, Sorghum sudanense and Cucurbita moschata grown in soils with different levels of phosphorus supply. The phosphorus concentrations applied are 0, 100, 300, 500 and 700 mg·kg-1. Phosphorus concentration, phosphorus accumulation, bioaccumulation and translation coefficient of the plants were measured for three growth periods (4 weeks, 7 weeks, 10 weeks), respectively.

<i>Important findings </i>

Over the same growth period, phosphorus concentration in shoots of the three plant species increased with increasing phosphorus supplies, with the maximum of 9.67 g·kg-1 in H. annuus, 4.86 g·kg-1 in S. sudanense, and 6.32 g·kg-1 in C. moschata. Under the same phosphorus treatments, phosphorus concentration significantly increased with growth time in shoots of H. annuus, decreased in shoots of S. sudanense, and did not significantly change in shoots of C. moschata. The aboveground total phosphorus accumulation in the three plant species all reached highest values when grown for 10 weeks in soils supplied with 700 mg·kg-1 phosphorus, amounting to 217.83 mg·plant-1 in H. annuus, 93.92 mg·plant-1 in S. sudanense, 135.82 mg·plant-1 in C. moschata, respectively. The bioaccumulation and translation coefficients in both H. annuus and S. sudanense exceeded 1.00 under each treatment. The peak values of the two coefficients were 11.39 and 4.09 for H. annuus. In conclusion, the phosphorus uptake and accumulation capacity of the tested plant species were in the order of H. annuus > C. moschata > S. sudanense, and H. annuus can be a possible candidate for phytoremediation of phosphorus mining wastelands.

Key words: phosphorus concentration in shoots, bioaccumulation coefficient, translation coefficient, phosphorus mining wasteland, Helianthus annuus, Sorghum sudanense, Cucurbita moschata