Combining technologies offer a great potential to phytoremediate contaminated soils. As sequestration occurs, pollutants availability decline and organic amendments could counterbalance that situation. This work studies the potential of willow plants to phytoremediate soil containing p,p'-DDT (101.3ngg-1) and p,p'-DDE (381.4ngg-1) residues. The effect of root exudates, Tween 80 and citric and oxalic acids on DDTs desorption and availability from soil was tested together with the plant uptake and translocation. Treatments increased the p,p'-DDE/p,p'-DDT ratio when compared with control (water) soil. Watering with carboxylic acids led to a significant enhancement of the quantities of p,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE desorbed from soil that was related with an increase of organic carbon in solution. Willow plants accumulated DDTs under all treatments although plants watered with carboxylic acids showed the highest leaves translocation factor for both p,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE. Results indicate that the addition of carboxylic acids enhanced DDTs bioavailability which further increases plant uptake and translocation. The effect of surfactants on the soil-plant systems needs to be better assessed for this particular soil and plant species. The enhancement of soluble organic carbon is crucial at the moment of evaluating DDTs release from soil as well as to establish cleaning strategies. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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