Wei, CY (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geog Sci & Nat Resources Res, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China.
Pytoremediaton of arsenic (As) contamination using Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata L.), an As hyperaccumulator has proven potential because of its cost-effectiveness and environmental harmonies. Aiming to investigate the elemental correlation in Chinese brake fern, 20 elements (As, Br, Ca, Ce, Co, Cr, Eu, Fe, Hf, La, Na, Nd, K, Rb, Se, Sm, Sr, Th, Yb and Zn) were measured in the fronds and roots of the fern by neutron activation analysis. The ferns were sampled from two sites with high geogenic As levels: Zimudang (ZMD) and Lanmuchang (LMC) in Guizhou Province, China. Multivariate statistic analysis was performed to explore the interrelationship between these elements, especially between As and other elements. As was found to be positively related to K, Na, La, and Sm in both the roots and the fronds, suggesting that these four elements might operate as synergies to As during uptake and transportation processes. Se was positively related to most of the other cations measured, except in the fronds of the fern at ZMD, where Br replaced Se as positively related to the other cations. The difference of As and Se in correlation with other cationic elements suggested that the two anionic elements play different roles in elemental uptake processes. Our findings of elemental correlation highlight the importance of the anion-cation balance in Chinese brake fern.