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Insect diversity in phytoremediation and bioaccumulation of Se

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A variety of plant species are being considered for the phytoremediation of selenium (Se) contaminated soils in agricultural regions of central California. Use of this plant-based technology may also attract a wide range of insects to these Se-accumulating plants. The first field study surveyed the diversity of insects attracted to tall fescue, birdsfoot trefoil, kenaf, and Indian mustard. Over 7500 specimens were collected by a sweep net collection technique for one complete growing season. Most of the 84 families identified were associated with beneficial insects, although pestiferous insects, for example, thrips, aphids, lygus, and leafhoppers, were also found. In the second study the bioaccumulation of Se in the cabbage looper [Trichoplusia ni (Hbner)] was investigated on Indian mustard grown in Se-rich water culture solution. Neonate larvae were transferred to plants and fed on Se-treated and no Se treated plants (controls) for 14 days, respectively. Pupae were collected from each treatment and incubated until adult insects emerged. Almost 50% fewer pupae were collected from Se-treated plants compared with “controls”, resulting in fewer adult insects. Selenium concentrations were as high as 3173 μg Se kg-1 DW in adult insects hatched from Se-treated plants compared with <5 μg Se kg-1 DW in insects from “controls”. Based on both studies, we concluded that insect diversity should be determined and insects monitored for bioaccumulation of Se on phytoremediation sites in agricultural regions.
Banuelos, G.S. , Tebbets, J.S. , Johnson, J.A. , Vail, P.V. , Mackey, B.
Includes references
International journal of phytoremediation Dec 1999. v. 1 (4)
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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