Concentration Effects on Competitive Sorption of Trichloroethylene and Tetrachloroethylene to the Roots of Typha latifolia: Implications for Phytomonitoring Academic Article uri icon


  • Uptake of organic contaminants by plant roots consists of two consecutive steps: sorption to plant roots and entrance into root xylem tissues through epidermal and endodermic membranes. Most research pertaining to phytoremediation assumed that sorption to plant roots is linear and non-competitive. A growing body of evidence, however, is suggesting that sorption to plant roots is nonlinear and competitive. The objective of this study was to examine the concentration effects of chemical constituents on the competitive sorption of trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) to the roots of Typha latifolia. Competitive sorption was clearly demonstrated by the reduced sorption of TCE and PCE in bi-solute systems than in single-solute systems. Concentration is an important factor affecting the extent of competition. In bi-solute systems, the PCE/TCE ratio on root surface approximately reflected the contaminant footprints in solution. The result was attributed to limited high energetically favorable sorption sites on the root surface and similar sorption mechanisms of TCE and PCE. The results hold significant importance for the application of phytomonitoring of organic contaminant mixtures. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ma, X., Archer, T., & Wang, C.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • August 2009