Department of Botany
University of Fort Hare
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE POTENTIAL OF EGERIA DENSA (PLACH) CASP.
Heavy metals contamination in the environment is a concern worldwide. Most of the methods already in use to clean up the environment from these heavy metals are costly and difficult to get optimum results. Currently, focus is on phytoremediation as an effective and affordable solution. This study evaluated the heavy metal uptake potential of Egeria densa (a submerged plant) as a possible candidate in phytoremediation of polluted water. Concentration of heavy metals [Cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn)] in water, sediments and Egeria densa plant samples of two ponds (1 and 2) were evaluated. Pb, Fe, Mn, and Cu contents were very high in the water samples of both ponds and ranged from 0.104 to 35.36 mg/L, while Cd and Zn were not detected. Evaluation of the sediments from both ponds revealed that Fe contents were high in the sediments of both ponds and Cu contents were very low. Heavy metal content in E. densa plant samples from both ponds showed that manganese was high in plant sample from pond 1, while zinc concentration was greater in plant sample from pond 2. These results showed that E. densa has the potential of accumulating heavy metals especially Mn and Zn.