Macrophytes as Biomonitors of Polychlorinated Biphenyls
Waste Water Treatment
Published Online: 15 JUL 2005
Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
How to Cite
Miglioranza, K. S., Menone, M. L., Aizpún De Moreno, J. E. and Moreno, V. J. 2005. Macrophytes as Biomonitors of Polychlorinated Biphenyls. Water Encyclopedia. 1:714–718.
- Published Online: 15 JUL 2005
Biomonitoring is the use of organisms in situ to identify and quantify toxicants in an environment. This technique takes advantage of the ability of organisms to accumulate contaminants in their tissues through bioaccumulation and bioconcentration. In general, three historical stages exist in the biomonitoring with plants, based on the use of different parameters: (a) various physiological, morphological, and community parameters; (b) environmental concentrations of pollutants in plant tissues; and (c) early warning systems or biomarkers (histological, biochemical, or genetic).
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are one of the more ubiquitous and toxic organic pollutants. PCBs are very hydrophobic contaminants and preferentially adsorb onto sediment particles. Depending on their morphology, aquatic macrophytes grow at the interface of distinct environments, such as water, sediment, and air. Despite not many studies being conducted using aquatic macrophytes for biomonitoring PCBs in freshwater ecosystem—as evidenced by a lack of literature reports—research under field conditions have demonstrated that rooted macrophytes play a crucial role in the removal of PCBs from the environment, not only accumulating but transforming them. For this reason, phytoremediation has been proposed as an alternative or complementary technique to treat sediment polluted by PCBs, but still needs much basic research.
- polychlorinated biphenyls;