Phytoremediation Competence of Composite Heavy-Metal-Contaminated Sediments by Intercropping Myriophyllum spicatum L. with Two Species of Plants

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 11;20(4):3185. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20043185.


A variety of remediation approaches have been applied to reduce the harm and diffusion of heavy metals in aquatic sediments; however, phytoremediation in co-contaminated soils is still not clear. In order to explore the phytoremediation of sediments contaminated by Cu and Pb, two submerged plants with different characteristics, Vallisneria natans and Hydrilla verticillata, were interplanted with Myriophyllum spicatum. By simulating a submerged plant ecological environment, medium-scale-simulated ecological remediation experiments were carried out. The results showed that the two planting patterns were effective in repairing the sediments in the Cu and Pb contaminated sediments. The intercropping of Myriophyllum spicatum and Vallisneria natans can be used as the plant stabilizer of Cu because of the TF > 1 and BCF < 1, and the intercropping with Hydrilla verticillata can regulate the enrichment efficiency of Myriophyllum spicatum. The removal rates of Cu and Pb in sediments reached 26.1% and 68.4%, respectively, under the two planting patterns. The risk grade of the restored sediments was RI < 150, indicating a low risk.

Keywords: Myriophyllum spicatum L.; intercropping; phytoremediation; sediment; submerged plant; translocation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Hydrocharitaceae*
  • Lead
  • Metals, Heavy* / analysis
  • Plants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Lead
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Metals, Heavy

Grants and funding

This project was supported by the Science and Technology Project of Jiangxi Provincial Water Resources Department (202023ZDKT13), the Education and Teaching Research and Reform Project of Beijing Union University in 2022 (JJ2022Y020) and the Project of Beijing Science and Technology Association (JQ18027).