Assessment of Lake Orta sediments phytotoxicity after the liming treatment
AbstractThe paper presents results from seed germination and root elongation tests for the evaluation of Lake Orta sediment contamination. The protocol for this test was developed after a literature survey and careful investigation of the proper conditions for obtaining the germination of commercially available seeds of several plants. Cucumis sativus, Lactuca sativa, and Lepidium sativum were finally chosen and used to detect the phytotoxicity of both liquid and solid phases of Lake Orta sediments. To assess whether exchange at the water – sediment interface could represent a hazard for the environment and the actual bioavailability of the toxicants present into the sediments, the phytotoxicity of samples collected in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, and 1998 from selected stations was tested on seeds of three different plant species (Lactuca sativa, Lepidium sativum and Cucumis sativus). The obtained results allow drawing distribution maps of the germination index, which confirm the persistence of toxic effects. However, the lake seems to positively respond to the restoration treatment, since the more contaminated layers of sediments are presently buried under less toxic sediments.
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