Assessment of Lemna gibba L. (duckweed) as a potential ecological indicator for contaminated aquatic ecosystem by boron mine effluent

BÖCÜK H., Yakar A., TÜRKER O. C.

ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, vol.29, pp.538-548, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.01.029
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.538-548
  • Keywords: Boron mine effluent, Ecological indicator, Growth model, Lemna gibba, Mine ecological system, Phytoremediation, HEAVY-METAL, GROWTH, ACCUMULATION, TOXICITY, REMOVAL, TOLERANCE, DENSITY
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Duckweeds, as a group, are important early warning indicators for the assessment of contaminated ecosystems due to their propensity to accumulate pollutants. In the present study, we investigated the potential use of Lemna gibba L (Lemnaceae) as an ecological indicator for boron (B) mine effluent containing B concentration above 10 mg l(-1). For this purpose, L gibba fronds were grown for 7 days in simulated water contaminated with B mine effluent. The important note is that this study was carried out in Kirka (Eskisehir, Turkey) B reserve area, which is the largest borax reserve in all over the world, under natural climatic conditions in the field. The results demonstrated that accumulations of B by L. gibba gradually increased based on the initial B concentrations (10, 25, 50,100, and 150 mg l(-1)) of the mine effluent. B concentration in the dry weight of the plant reached 639 mg kg(-1) when the minimum initial dosage (10 mg l(-1)) was applied and 2711 mg kg(-1) when the maximum initial dosage (150 mg l(-1)) was applied during the study. However, significant reductions in their relative growth rates occurred in 50, 100 and 150 mg l(-1) initial B concentrations. Results suggest that 25 mg l(-1) B concentration in water seemed to be a sensitive endpoint for L. gibba that could be used as a critical bioindicator level of B contaminated water. Following our data, we also constructed a simple growth model under the climatic conditions in this region of Turkey, but in instructive as a worldwide model. L gibba is, therefore, suggested to be able to use as both an indicator and a phytoremediation tool because of its high accumulation capacity for B contaminated water. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.