Past studies have thoroughly explored the phytoextraction/phytostabilization potentials of different plant species for particular metals. However, none of the plants was able to tackle the problem of multi-metal in contaminated soils. We report herewith the potential of Conocarpus erectus to extract lead (Pb) while having the capability to stabilize chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd) in polluted soil. The C. erectus was subjected to grow for 120 days in a soil spiked with four different levels of each metal i.e. Pb (0, 600, 1200 and 2400 mg kg −1 ), Ni (0, 50, 100 and 200 mg kg −1 ), Cr (0, 150, 300 and 600 mg kg −1 ) and Cd (0, 20, 40 and 80 mg kg −1 ). Data related to plant growth, physiology, biochemistry and antioxidants activities revealed that forenamed parameters were significantly reduced with increasing spiking levels. Contrarily, metal speciation in plant parts (metal concentrations in shoots and roots, and metal contents in these corresponding plant parts), metal removal per pot, and DTPA-extractable metals from the soil were significantly increased with increasing spiking level upon the termination of the experiment. Curiously, each spiking level demonstrated elevated Pb concentrations in shoots than roots, while the concentrations of other metals (Cr, Ni, and Cd) were found higher in roots than in the shoots. Likewise, at each spiking level, C. erectus showed both bioconcentration factor (BCF) and translocation factor (TF) values greater than 1 for Pb, while these values were ever lower than 1 for Cr, Ni, and Cd. Moreover, the percentages of Pb removal were ever higher than other metals at each spiking level. Outcomes of our experiment suggest that C. erectus has immense potential for the phytoextraction of Pb and phytostabilization of Cr, Ni, and Cd in polluted soil. It is suggested that this plant can be used to tackle the problem of multi-metal pollution in soils.
- Conocarpus erectus