Walsh, Éamonn, Kuehnhold, Holger, O’Brien, Seán, Coughlan, Neil E. and Jansen, Marcel A.K. (2021) Light intensity alters the phytoremediation potential of Lemna minor. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28 (13). pp. 16394-16407. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11792-y.

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Lemnaceae, i.e. duckweed species, are attractive for phytoremediation of wastewaters, primarily due to their rapid growth, high
nutrient uptake rates, tolerance to a broad range of growing conditions and ability to expeditiously assimilate a variety of
pollutants. Light is essential for plant growth, and therefore, phytoremediation. Nevertheless, the effect of light intensity remains
poorly understood in relation to phytoremediation, a knowledge gap that impedes the development of indoor, fully controlled,
stacked remediation systems. In the present study, the effect of light intensity (10–850 μmol m−2 s−1) on the phytoremediation
potential of Lemna minor was assessed. Plants were grown on either an optimal growth medium (half-strength Hutner’s) or
synthetic dairy processing wastewater, using stationary axenic (100 mL) or re-circulating non-sterile (11.7 L) systems. The
relative growth rate (RGR) of L. minor grown on half-strength Hutner’s increased proportionally with increasing light intensity.
In contrast, the RGR of L. minor grown on synthetic dairy wastewater did not increase with light over an intensity range from 50
to 850 μmol m−2 s−1. On synthetic dairy wastewater, total nitrogen and total phosphorous removal also remained unchanged
between 50 and 850 μmol m−2 s−1, although L. minor protein content (% fresh weight) increased from 1.5 to 2% at higher light
intensities. Similar results were obtained with the larger re-circulating system. The results demonstrate interactive effects of light
intensity and wastewater composition on growth and phytoremediation potential of L. minor. The data imply that light intensities
above 50 μmol m−2 s−1 may not necessarily confer benefits in duckweed wastewater remediation, and this informs engineering of
stacked, indoor remediation systems.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA1
Research affiliation: Affiliations > Not ZMT
Ecology > Experimental Aquaculture
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11792-y
ISSN: 0944-1344
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 12:27
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2022 17:01
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/4804

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