Giant reed (arundo donax l.): A multipurpose crop bridging phytoremediation with sustainable bioeconomy

A. L. Fernando, B. Barbosa, J. Costa, E. G. Papazoglou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Arundo donax L. (giant reed, Poaceae) is a perennial, woody, and high-yielding nonfood crop. It is characterized by relatively high yields and high water and nitrogen efficiencies, and by low susceptibility to pests and diseases. Its robustness and physiological characteristics, such as a deep, dense, and extensive root system, allow it to easily adapt to different types of soils and ecological conditions. Its biomass can be used for the production of energy, paper pulp, and wooden building materials. Recent approaches utilize this crop in the removal of pollutants from wastewaters (WW), as a strategy to improve the management of water resources, or in the phytoremediation of contaminated soils to restore or attenuate and stabilize contaminated sites while bringing additional revenue to owners. In this context, A. donax L. production under WW irrigation or in contaminated soils is reviewed, with the aim of identifying benefits and limitations. Bridging phytoremediation with the production of this multipurpose crop could provide environmental benefits and social and economic opportunities, improving the overall sustainability of the biosystem. Reports of laboratory, pilot, and field research indicate that this crop has potential simultaneously to deliver high yields, restore soil properties, and improve water quality. Nevertheless, this practice has environmental and social concerns due to the presence of harmful substances in WW or soil that may affect biomass productivity and quality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioremediation and Bioeconomy
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780128028728
ISBN (Print)9780128028308
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Arundo donax L.
  • Contaminated land
  • Giant reed
  • Phytoremediation
  • Soil conservation
  • Sustainable management
  • Wastewater reuse
  • Water resources


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