The Heavy Metal Plants Metallophytes

Metallophytes

A botanist can immediately identify a habitat as heavy metal soil polluted by high concentrations of Zn, Pb or other heavy metals by the composition of the plants. In Central Europe, most heavy metal soils carry four to six typical metallophytes. Highest Zn-concentrations are endured by spring sandwort (Minuartia (Alsine) verna, Fig. 2.1h) of the Caryophyllaceae which otherwise occurs only, although abundantly, on chalk meadows and rocks in alpine regions of Europe above the timberline. The...

Sources of Arsenic in Soil

Arsenic Geocycle The Environment

Arsenic occurs naturally as an element, ranks as the 20th most occurring trace element in the earth's crust (NRC 1977) and is widely distributed in the environment. The ultimate source of arsenic on the Earth's surface is igneous activity (Nriagu 1994). Arsenic is widely spread in the upper crust of the Earth, although mainly at very low concentrations, with arsenic concentrations in soil ranging from 0.1 to more than 1,000 ppm (mg kg-1). In atmospheric dust, the range is 503,400 ppm. In...

Ecological Classification of Earthworms

An earthworm substantially enhances physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of soil through their feeding, casting, and burrowing activities. Different earthworm species differ in their ecological strategies which influence main physical features of soil (soil aggregation and porosity) in different degrees and therefore classify them as epigeic, endogeic, and anecic (Lee 1985 Lavelle and Spain 2001 Karaca et al. 2010a Kizilkaya et al. 2011) (Fig. 21.1). Epigeic species such as...

Earthworm Distribution in Soil

In general, there are considered to be around 6,000 species of earthworms (Fragoso et al. 1999 Lavelle and Spain 2001). Apart from extreme environments such as desert and glacial soils, earthworms can inhabit a wide variety of soil environments including agriculture, forest, and pasture ecosystems. The size of adult earthworms ranged from few mm to 2 m while their body mass changes between 10 mg and 1 kg. Giant earthworm species usually inhabit in tropical regions of southern hemisphere such as...