Phytoremediation prospects of willow stands on contaminated sediment: A field trial

P Vervaeke, S. Luyssaert, J. Mertens, E. Meers, F. M.G. Tack, N Lust

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Establishing fast growing willow stands on land disposed contaminated dredged sediment can result in the revaluation of this material and opens possibilities for phytoremediation. A field trial was designed to assess the impact of planting a willow stand (Salix viminalis L. 'Orm') on the dissipation of organic contaminants (mineral oil and PAHs) in dredged sediment. In addition, the accumulation of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) in the biomass was determined. After 1.5 years, a significant decrease of 57% in the mineral oil concentration in the sediment planted with willow was observed. Degradation of mineral oil in sediment which was left fallow, was only 15%. The mineral oil degradation under willow was most pronounced (79%) in the root zone of the stand. In the sediment which was left fallow there was a significant reduction of the total PAH content by 32% compared with a 23% reduction in the planted sediment. The moderate and selective metal uptake, measured in this study, limits the prospects for phytoextraction of metals from dredged sediment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-282
    Number of pages8
    JournalEnvironmental Pollution
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2003


    • Contaminated sediment
    • Mineral oil
    • PAH
    • Phytoremediation
    • Salix


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