Heavy Metal and Mineral Contents of Centrosema pubescens and Pueraria phaseoloides used as Phytoremediators in Crude Oil Polluted Soil.

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B. N. Uwalaka
G. G. E. Osuagwu
O. F. Udogu


The effect of crude oil polluted soil on the heavy metal content and mineral composition of Centrosema pubescens and Pueraria phaseoloides was investigated the experiment was a factorial (2x4) arrangement in a completely randomized design (CRD).  Factors and levels were the two legumes (C. pubescens, P. phaseoloides) and crude oil concentration (volume/weight) in the soil (0%, 1%, 3% and 4%).Generally, heavy metal presence was significantly high (at P< 0.05) in the treated soil, roots and leaves of the studied plants parts as the level of pollution increased. Copper had the highest increase in concentration at the beginning of the experiment (from 0.13-0.98mg/g) while cadmium had the least (from 0.06-0.41mg/g). Copper concentration in the soil had about 59% reduction at 4%v/w level of pollution in P. phaseoloides grown soil 14Weeks After Planting (WAP). Cadmium was the least reduced (20%) at 4% level of pollution in C. pubescens grown soil. The roots of the studied plants accumulated more heavy metals than the leaves. Lead concentration in P. phaseoloides and C. pubescens roots were 0.28mg/g and 0.31mg/g respectively and 0.20mg and 0.17mg/g in their respective leaves. The observed heavy metal alterations in the plants and soil suggest that they could be used in phytomonitoring and phytoremediation. The Ca, Mg and Na contents in the polluted soil at the beginning (week 0 ) of the experiment increased, and reduced 14 weeks after planting (WAP) while P, K and N reduced as the pollution increased at the beginning of the experiment but increased in soil content at the end of the experiment. This study has demonstrated that crude oil contamination of soil had high significant effect by altering the mineral component of the studied plants. The result will serve as possible information necessary in agricultural decisions.

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