Salt Marsh plants’ potential for the remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated environments

C. Marisa R. Almeida, Nazaré Couto, Hugo Ribeiro, Ana Paula Mucha, Adriano Bordalo, M. Clara Basto, M. Teresa S. D. Vasconcelos

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Petroleum contamination can cause serious damage to ecosystems, and natural biological processes may be convenient alternatives to minimise ecological impacts. However, these are long processes, and approaches to accelerate them are needed. In this chapter two studies carried out to ascertain the phytoremediation potential of salt marsh plants for the remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated environments in near-natural controlled conditions are reported. In the first study, the suitability of Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis for rhizodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated estuarine sediment, the medium where the plants grow, was assessed. The second study involved soil contaminated with petrochemical products and evaluated the capability of Halimione portulacoides, Juncus maritimus and Scirpus maritimus for soil remediation. Results indicate that salt marsh plants, or salt-tolerant marsh plants, can have an important role in the restoration and remediation of not only hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments but also hydrocarbon-contaminated nonsaline soils. However, the specificities of the plant species, the environmental conditions and the time frame should be well thought out when engaging a revegetation of hydrocarbon-polluted sites with these plants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhytoremediation: Management of Environmental Contaminants
EditorsAbid A. Ansari, Sarvajeet Singh Gill, Ritu Gill, Guy R. Lanza, Lee Newman
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-10395-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-10394-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Bioremediation
  • Estuarine sediments
  • Petroleum hydrocarbons
  • Refinery soils
  • Rhizoremediation
  • Rhizosphere
  • Salt marsh plants


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