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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 192986, 6 pages
Research Article

Absorption of Hazardous Pollutants by a Medicinal Fern Blechnum orientale L.

1Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China

Received 3 April 2013; Accepted 22 June 2013

Academic Editor: John B. Vincent

Copyright © 2013 Xiao-min Zhu et al. 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.


A Chinese medicinal fern Blechnum orientale (Linn) was separately collected from polluted and unpolluted sites to determine whether it could accumulate hazardous pollutants or not. Metal concentrations (Cu, Zn, Mn, Pb, Cd, Cr, As, and Hg) both in the fronds and roots and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the fronds of this fern were quantified. At both sites, roots of B. orientale had significantly higher heavy metals than the fronds. Concentrations of Pb, As, Hg, Cd, and Cu in the fronds at the polluted site were more than 2, 6, 7, 14, 5, and 13 times of those at the unpolluted site. Translocation factor and bioaccumulation factor implied that B. orientale did not have a good ability to transport heavy metals from the roots to the fronds. Total PAHs in the fronds at the polluted site were significantly higher than those at the unpolluted site, indicating the physiological PAHs absorption by B. orientale growing at polluted sites. Uptake of pollutants via stomata might be the main reason causing the significant accumulation of hazardous pollutants in the fronds of B. orientale. Large-scale systematical survey and intensive monitoring on pollutants in this medicinal fern should be necessarily strengthened.