Phytoremediation Potential of Plants Grown on Reclaimed Spoil Lands
Post-mining reclamation is aimed at restoring the productive capacity of the disturbed land and ensuring socio-economic and environmental sustainability. Methods that have been employed for the reclamation activity are reported in the literature. This paper studied the utility of certain plant species in Ghana for remediating mine degraded soils. The roots, stalks and leaves of the plant species were analysed for heavy metal accumulation. It was found that Xylopia aethiopica (Hwentia), Pityrogramma calomelanos (Fern), Chromolaena odorata (Acheampong weed), Leucaena leucocephala (Leucaena), and Terminalia superba (Ofram) have accumulated significant concentrations of the heavy metals and are highly suitable for cleaning copper, cadmium, lead, manganese and iron contaminated sites. Food and cash crops, Colocasia esculenta (Cocoyam), Musa sapientum (Banana), and Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) were also observed to have high uptake potential of the heavy metals. Thus, these crops are not recommended on rehabilitated polluted soils until such soils are rid of the contaminants to acceptable levels to mitigate potential concerns by consumers, because local indigenes and the community consume the leaves and tubers of Colocasia esculenta, the beans of Theobroma cacao and the fruits of Musa sapientum.
Keywords: Phytoremediation, Bioremediation, Contaminated Soils, Degraded Soils, Heavy Metal