Phytoremediation of amended copper mine tailings with Brassica juncea

Luís A.B. Novo*, Emma F. Covelo, Luís González

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Mine tailings remain a major concern to the mining industry and the environment. This study evaluates the potential of Brassica juncea for phytoremediation of copper mine tailings treated with technosol (TE) and compost (CO) and the effect of these amendments in the process. Ecophysiological and biochemical results reveal the capacity of B. juncea to grow and develop under the influence of both amendments, and aspects like its soil-covering ability, vigorous seedling growth, tolerance to metal toxicity and potential immobilisation of excluded trace metals in the rhizosphere, denote the species aptitude for phytostabilisation. Moreover, B. juncea also exhibits fitness for the uptake of Cu and Zn, due to its high biomass production and striking translocation and bioconcentration ratios for these metals, thus qualifying this species as a good candidate for phytoextraction in similar mine tailings. The treatments depict different effects on the phytoremediation process, with TE favouring phytostabilisation and CO enhancing phytoextraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPrint publication - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Brassica juncea
  • compost
  • phytoremediation
  • restoration
  • technosol
  • trace metals


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