Environmental science and pollution research international

Growth of four tropical tree species in petroleum-contaminated soil and effects of crude oil contamination.

PMID 27796985


Under greenhouse conditions, we evaluated establishment of four tree species and their capacity to degrade crude oil recently incorporated into the soil; the species were as follows: Cedrela odorata (tropical cedar), Haematoxylum campechianum (tinto bush), Swietenia macrophylla (mahogany), and Tabebuia rosea (macuilis). Three-month-old plants were planted in soil with three treatments of heavy petroleum and a control (C0 0xa0mgxa0kg(-1); C1 18,000xa0mgxa0kg(-1); C2 31,700xa0mgxa0kg(-1); C3 47,100xa0mgxa0kg(-1)) with four repetitions per treatment and species; the experiment was carried out for 245xa0days. Height and biomass of all species significantly diminished as petroleum concentration increased, although plant survival was not affected. The quantity of colony-forming units (CFU) of rhizospheric bacteria varied among tree species and treatments; petroleum stimulated bacterial CFU for S. macrophylla. The number of fungi CFU for S. macrophylla and T. rosea was significantly greater in C0 than in soil with petroleum, but among species and among different concentrations, no significant differences were found. The greatest percentage of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) degradation was found in C1 for soil without plants (45xa0%). Differences from the remaining treatments (petroleum concentrations in soil and plant species) were not significant (Pxa0