Back
 AJPS  Vol.3 No.1 , January 2012
Effect of Mercuric Compounds on Pine and Sycamore Germination and Early Survival
Abstract: Mercury pollution has become an important current issue as a result of its environmental effects on a global scale. The Oak Ridge Reservation, established in 1942, was the designated site for the construction of the atomic bomb. During a 20-year period from 1944-1963 radioactive and toxic chemical pollutants, especially mercury compounds were released into the surrounding waterways.A germination study was conducted to investigate the ability of three tree species, American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis),shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata), and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) seeds to germinate in mercuric nitrate (Hg(NO3)2 and methylmercury chloride (CH3HgCl) solutions. A subsequent greenhouse study was conducted to assess the phytotoxic effects of different mercuric solutions on Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore), inoculated with soils from East Fork Poplar Creek.We also measured vegetation stress by Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy.The wavelengths examined were those thatare specific to chlorophyll and several carotenoids, which are involved in photosynthesis: 430 nm (Chl a), 448 nm (Chl b, carotenoids), 471 nm (carotenoids), 642 nm (Chl b), 662 & 680 nm (Chl a). Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to identify patterns in sycamore leaf spectral data.Under in vitro conditions, as mercury concentration increased above 100 mg·kg-1, germination of all species decreased, with P. echinata being the least sensitive. Germination was inhibited more when seeds were exposed to methyl mercury chloride than to mercuric nitrate. Organic species of mercury proved to be more toxic than inorganic species of mercury in our greenhouse study. Significant changes occurred in levels of all pigments sampled (p430, p448, p471, p642, p662, and p680) over the course of the experiment. NIR spectroscopy was not sensitive enough to detect other chemical changes to foliage following mercury application.
Cite this paper: S. Jean-Philippe, N. Labbé, J. Damay, J. Franklin and K. Hughes, "Effect of Mercuric Compounds on Pine and Sycamore Germination and Early Survival," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2012, pp. 150-158. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.31017.
References

[1]   J. Burger, K. Campbell, T. Campbell, T. Shukla, C. Dixon and M. Gochfeld, “Use of Central Stonerollers (Cyprinidae: Campostoma Anomalum) from Tennessee as a Bioindicator of Metal Contamination,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 110, No. 1-3, 2005, pp. 171-184. doi:10.1007/s10661-005-6689-8

[2]   K. Campbell, T. Campbell and J. Burger, “Heavy Metal Concentration in Northern Water Snakes (Nerodia Sipedon) from East Fork Poplar Creek and the Little River, East Tennessee, USA,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2005, pp. 239-248. doi:10.1007/s00244-004-0200-3

[3]   C. Theodorakis, C. Swartz, W. Rogers, J. Bickham, K. Donnelly and S. Adams, “Relationship between Genotoxicity, Mutagenicity, and Fish Community Structure in a Contaminated Stream,” Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2000, pp. 131-143. doi:10.1023/A:1009971330138

[4]   D. L. Godbold and A. Huttermann, “The Uptake and Toxicity of Mercury and Lead to Spruce (Picea Abies Karst.) Seedlings,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 31, No. 1-2, 1986, pp. 509-515. doi:10.1007/BF00630869

[5]   H. Munthe and A. Iverfeldt, “Mechanisms of Deposition and Mercury and Methylmercury to Coniferous Forests,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 80, No. 1-4, 1995, pp. 363-371. doi:10.1007/BF01189686

[6]   Y. Tsai and B. Olson, “Effects of Hg2+, CH3-Hg+, and Temperature on the Expression of Mercury Resistance Genes in Environmental Bacteria,” Applied Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 56, 1990, pp. 3266-3272.

[7]   N. W. Revis, T. R. Osborne, G. Holdsworth and C. Hadden, “Distribution of Mercury Species in Soil from a Mercury-Contaminated Site,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 45, 1989, pp. 105-113.

[8]   F. X. Han, Y. M. Su, L. David, C. A. Waggoner and M. J. Plodinec, “Binding, Distribution, and Plant Uptake of Mercury in a Soil from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 368, No. 2-3, 2006, pp. 753-768. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.02.026

[9]   USEPA, “National Priorities Listed for Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites,” Federal Register, Vol. 54, No. 223, 1989, pp. 48184-48189.

[10]   Science Application International Corporation, “East Fork Poplar Creek-Sewer Line Beltway Remedial Investigation Report: Addendum,” Oak Ridge, US Department of Energy, 1994.

[11]   S. E. Lindberg, R. R. Turner, T. P. Meyers, G. E. Taylor and W. H. Schroder, “Atmospheric Concentrations and Deposition of Hg to a Deciduous Forest Walker Branch Watershed, Tennessee, USA,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 56, No. 1, 1991, pp. 577-594. doi:10.1007/BF00342301

[12]   A. Fargasova, “Effect of Pb, Cd, Hg, As and Cr on Germination and Root Growth of Sinapis alba Seeds,” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination Toxicology, Vol. 52, No. 3, 1994, pp. 452-456. doi:10.1007/BF00197836

[13]   W. Li, M. A. Khan, S. Yamaguchi and Y. Kamiva, “Effects of Heavy Metals on Seed Germination and Early Seedling Growth of Arabidopsis Thaliana,” Plant Growth Regulation, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2005, pp. 45-50. doi:10.1007/s10725-005-6324-2

[14]   O. Munzuroglu and H. Geckil, “Effects of Metals on Seed Germination, Root Elongation, and Coleoptiles and Hypocotyls Growth in Triticum Aestivum and Cucumis Sativus,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2002, pp. 203-213. doi:10.1007/s00244-002-1116-4

[15]   A. Mishra and M. A. Choudhuri, “Monitoring of Phytotoxicity of Lead and Mercury from Germination and Early Seedling Growth Indices in Tow Rice Cultivars,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 114, No. 3-4, 1998, pp. 339-346. doi:10.1023/A:1005135629433

[16]   M. Patra and A. Sharma, “Mercury Toxicity in Plants,” Botany Review, Vol. 66, No. 3, 2000, pp. 379-422. doi:10.1007/BF02868923

[17]   W. Beauford, J. Barber and A. R. Barrington, “Uptake and Distribution of Mercury within Higher Plants,” Physiology Plantarum, Vol. 39, No. 4, 1977, pp. 261-265. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.1977.tb01880.x

[18]   D. L. Godbold, “Mercury-Induced Root Damage in Spruce Seedling,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 56, No. 1, 1991, pp. 823-831. doi:10.1007/BF00342319

[19]   H. S. Helmisaari, J. Derome, H. Fritze, T. Nieminen, K. Palmgren, M. Salemaa and I. Vanha-Majamaa, “Copper in Scots Pine Forest around a Heavy-Metal Smelter in South-Western Finland,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 85, No. 3, 1995, 1727-1732. doi:10.1007/BF00477229

[20]   S. R. Jean-Philippe, J. A. Franklin, D. Buckley and K. Hughes, “The Effect of Mercury on Tree and Their Mycorrhizal Fungi,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 159, No. 10, 2011, pp. 2733-2739. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2011.05.017

[21]   F. T. Bonner, “Storage of Seeds,” In: F. T. Bonner and R. P. Karrfalt, Eds., The Woody Plant Seed Manual, Agriculture Hand Book 727, USDA Forest Service, 2008, pp. 85-87.

[22]   S. L. Krugman and J. L. Jenkinson, “Pinus L. (Pine),” In: F. T. Bonner and R. P. Karrfalt, Eds., The Woody Plant Seed Manual, Agriculture Hand Book 727, USDA Forest Service, 2008, pp. 809-847.

[23]   J. C. Zasada and T. F. Strong, “Acer L. Maple,” Woody Plant Seed Manual, 2003.

[24]   D. R. Hoagland and D. I. Arnon, “The Water Culture Method for Growing Plants without Soil,” California Agriculture Experimental Station, 1938, p. 347.

[25]   M. J. Boyer, M. Miller, M. Belanger and E. Hare. “Senescence and Spectral Reflectance in Leaves of Northern Pin Oak (Quercu palustris Muenchh),” Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1988, pp. 71-87. doi:10.1016/0034-4257(88)90042-9

[26]   G. A. Carter, “Ratios of Leaf Reflectances in Narrow Wavebands as Indicators of Plant Stress,” International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1994, pp. 697-703. doi:10.1080/01431169408954109

[27]   K. L. Smith, M. D. Steven and J. J. Colls, “Spectral Responses of Pot-Grown Plants to Displacement of Soil Oxygen,” International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 25, 2004, pp. 4395-4410.

[28]   S. C. Dunagan, M. S. Gilmore and J. C. Varekamp, “Effects of Mercury on Visible/Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectra of Mustard Spinach Plants (Brassica rapa P.),” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 148, 2007, pp. 301-311.

[29]   J. M. Bland and D. G. Altman, “Calculating Correlation Coefficients with Repeated Observations: Part 1—Correlation within Subjects,” British Medical Journal, Vol. 310, 1995, p. 446. doi:10.1136/bmj.310.6977.446

[30]   M. C. Cang, “Harmful Effects of Hg on Cell Membranes of Rape Leaves and the Cell’s Endogenous Protection,” Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1998, pp. 323-326.

[31]   J. J. Zwiazek and T. J. Blake, “Early Detection of Membrane Injury in Black Spruce (Picea Mariana),” Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 21, No. 3, 1991, pp. 401-404. doi:10.1139/x91-050

[32]   J. T. Wooley, “Reflectance and Transmittance of Light by Leaves,” Plant Physiology, Vol. 47, No. 5, 1971, pp. 656-662. doi:10.1104/pp.47.5.656

[33]   D. Sims and J. Garmon, “Relationship between Leaf Pigment Content and Spectral Reflectance across a Wide Range of Species, Leaf Structures and Developmental Stages,” Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 81, No. 2-3, 2002, pp. 337-354. doi:10.1016/S0034-4257(02)00010-X

[34]   C. D. Elvidge, “Visible and Near-Infrared Reflectance Characteristics of Dry Plant Materials,” International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 11, No. 10, 1990, pp. 1775-1795. doi:10.1080/01431169008955129

 
 
Top