Geotechnical Engineering Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Boron accumulation and toxicity in hybrid poplar (populus nigra × euramericana)


Rees R, Robinson BH, Menon M, Lehmann E, Günthardt-Goerg MS, Schulin R
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Poplars accumulate high B concentrations and are thus used for the phytomanagement of B contaminated soils. Here, we performed pot experiments in which Populus nigra × euramericana were grown on a substrate with B concentrations ranging from 13 to 280 mg kg-1 as H3BO 3. Salix viminalis, Brassica juncea, and Lupinus albus were grown under some growing conditions for comparison. Poplar growth was unaffected at soil B treatment levels up to 93 mg kg-1. Growth was progressively reduced at levels of 168 and 280 mg kg-1. None of the other species survived at these substrate B levels. At leaf B concentrations <900 mg kg-1 only <10% of the poplar leaf area showed signs of toxicity. Neutron radiography revealed that chlorotic leaf tissues had B concentrations of 1000-2000 mg kg-1, while necrotic tissues had >2000 mg kg -1. Average B concentrations of up to 3500 mg kg-1 were found in leaves, while spots within leaves had concentrations >7000 mg kg-1, showing that B accumulation in leaf tissue continued even after the onset of necrosis. The B accumulation ability of P. nigra × euramericana is associated with B hypertolerance in the living tissue and storage of B in dead leaf tissue. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

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Environmental Science and Technology
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Environmental Science and Technology
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