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Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Apply Evolutionary Thinking This chapter’s Focus on Research: Applied Research discusses phytoremediation, the use of plants to remove environmental pollutants such as heavy metals. As noted, some plant species are hyperaccumulators that take up arsenic and other metallic contaminants and sequester such toxins in shoot parts. How might this activity confer a selective advantage?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The activity of plants in removing the environmental pollutants has a selective advantage.

Introduction:

A sustainable and low-cost way of cleaning the heavy metals from the soil, water, or air is phytoremediation. In this process, specific plants that act as hyperaccumulators are used for taking up the heavy metals from the soil. Some plants that act as hyperaccumulators are alpine, pigweed, hemp, and mustard.

Explanation

The use of plants for the removal of heavy metal accumulated in the soil, water, and air has very selective benefits. It is often found that a plant crop selectively or specifically takes up only one metal. In cases where there are many classes and types of pollutants present, the process is complicated.

As the accumulation of metals takes place in the aboveground biomass of the plants (leaves and shoots), it is affected by the factors, such as, accumulation factor and translocation factor. Translocation factor is defined as the ratio of the metal concentration in shoots to that in roots. Accumulation factor is defined as the ratio of the metal concentration in plant tissue to its concentration in soil...

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