The effects of exogenous chromium (Cr) on the growth of three species of duckweeds: Spirodela punctata (G.F.W. Meyer) Thomps., Spirodela polyrhiza (L.) Schleiden and Lem na gibba L., were examined at Cr concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 20 p.p.m. Using51Cr radiotracer methodology, it was demonstrated in Experiment 1 that sorption was directly related to ambient Cr concentrations after 8 days of exposure. At and above 1.0 p.p.m. Cr, negative effects on growth were evident, with seasonal variations apparently also affecting Cr uptake and toxicity. Chrome tolerance, based on the percentage of control growth achieved by exposed plants, showed S. polyrhiza to be the least tolerant to Cr, while S. punctata and L. gibba were more tolerant at concentrations above 1.0 p.p.m. In Experiment 2, duckweeds grown in nutrient-rich water with an initial concentration of 10 p.p.m. exhibited substantial growth, with bioaccumulation of Cr increasing with time. The possible use of various types of biological treatment systems for the removal of Cr from wastewater is discussed. © 1985.
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