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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 752708, 12 pages
Review Article

Heavy Metal Polluted Soils: Effect on Plants and Bioremediation Methods

1Department of Soil Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
2Department of Geology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Received 13 June 2014; Revised 2 August 2014; Accepted 2 August 2014; Published 12 August 2014

Academic Editor: Yongchao Liang

Copyright © 2014 G. U. Chibuike and S. C. Obiora. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Soils polluted with heavy metals have become common across the globe due to increase in geologic and anthropogenic activities. Plants growing on these soils show a reduction in growth, performance, and yield. Bioremediation is an effective method of treating heavy metal polluted soils. It is a widely accepted method that is mostly carried out in situ; hence it is suitable for the establishment/reestablishment of crops on treated soils. Microorganisms and plants employ different mechanisms for the bioremediation of polluted soils. Using plants for the treatment of polluted soils is a more common approach in the bioremediation of heavy metal polluted soils. Combining both microorganisms and plants is an approach to bioremediation that ensures a more efficient clean-up of heavy metal polluted soils. However, success of this approach largely depends on the species of organisms involved in the process.