The Effect of Mixed Plants Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) on the Phytoremediation of Light Crude Oil in Soil

Document Type : Original Articles


1 M. Sc. Student in Soil Science Engineering Agriculture and Natural Resources Campus, University of Tehran, Karaj

2 Ph.D.,Associate Professor, Campus of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran

3 Ph.D., Assistant professor, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University

4 B. Sc. Student in Biology Faculty of Biological Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University


Abstract:Crude oil is one of the most important pollutants of the soil in the southern part of Iran. Crude oil can leak into the soil during extraction purification or or transportation. The soil contamination could damage the organisms of the soil, including plants and microorganisms. Some plants and microorganisms are able to degrade the the oil in the soil. Two types of plants including legumes and grasses have higher potential to be used for phytoremediation. In the present study, the effect of mixed plant, alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and fescue (Festuca arundinacea),on phytoremediation of different concentrations of light crude oil (0-10%) in soil during 120 days was studied. Total bacterial count was higher in a vegetated sample with 7% crude oil. The oil degrading bacteria was higher than non-vegetated samples. In vegetated samples, the higher crude oil reduction was observed in sample with 1% crude oil (36.7), while the lower reduction was observed in sample with 10% crude oil (5.6). The total biomass was higher in control sample (9.6g), while it was lower in 10% sample (0.24 g). Our results showed that phytoremediation with mixed plants were not efficient in contaminated soil with more than 5% crude oil.
Keywords: Phytoremediation, Crude oil, Microorganisms, Soil.