Influence of plants on the reduction of hexavalent chromium in wetland sediments

Juan A. Zazo, Jeffery S. Paull, Peter R. Jaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This work addresses the effect that plants (Typha latifolia and Carex lurida) have on the reduction of Cr(VI) in wetland sediments. Experiments were carried out using tubular microcosms, where chemical species were monitored along the longitudinal flow axis. Cr(VI) removal was enhanced by the presence of plants. This is explained by a decrease in the redox potential promoted by organic root exudates released by plants. Under these conditions sulfate reduction is enhanced, increasing the concentration of sulfide species in the sediment pore water, which reduce Cr(VI). Evapotranspiration induced by plants also contributed to enhance the reduction of Cr(VI) by concentrating all chemical species in the sediment pore water. Both exudates release and evapotranspiration have a diurnal component that affects Cr(VI) reduction. Concentration profiles were fitted to a kinetic model linking sulfide and Cr(VI) concentrations corrected for evapotranspiration. This expression captures both the longitudinal as well as the diurnal Cr(VI) concentration profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


  • Chromate reduction
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Kinetics
  • Root exudates
  • Sulfate reducing bacteria
  • Wetlands


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