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  • 1 Obafemi Awolowo University Department of Botany Ile-Ife Nigeria
  • 2 Federal University Department of Biological Sciences Lafia, Nasarawa State Nigeria
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Hyperaccumulation and phytoremediation potentials of arsenic by Pteris vittata and P. ensiformis were investigated and documented mainly for ability to clean arsenic contaminated soil sites by both plants in Nigeria. 5.0 kg of soil was air dried, sieved and analysed for the physical and chemical properties and placed inside four plastic pots labelled CT, A, B and C. They were treated with different concentrations of sodium arsenate. One-month-old fernlets of each species was transplanted into each of the soil treatments and left for 12 weeks. Little quantity of water was added to each of these pots every other day. The results showed that P. vittata hyperaccumulated up to 64,132 mg As kg−1 arsenic in the root and 65,747 mg As kg−1 in the frond in all the treatments, while P. ensiformis hyperaccumulated up to 15,662 mg As kg−1 in the root and 15,120 mg As kg−1 in the frond. The total arsenic accumulation was greater in P. vittata than in P. ensiformis and showed no sign of phytotoxicity. Treatment C was lethal to P. ensiformis after four weeks. P. vittata fulfilled all the criteria for classification as a hyperaccumulator and phytoremediator of arsenic contaminated soil in Nigeria. In contrast, P. ensiformis did not satisfy all the criteria because it could not withstand high concentration of arsenic for a long period of time. This study had provided base-line information on the hyperaccumulation status of the two species in Nigeria.

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