AbstractThis study examined the potential of the aquatic macrophyte Eichhornia crassipes for bioaccumulating hexavalent chromium and its effects on the plant’s morphology. The macrophytes were exposed to different concentrations of Cr (VI) (0–100  mg L−1) in 20% full-strength Hoagland nutrient solution for 10 days. Changes in the Cr (VI) concentrations were measured in the media and in specific plant tissues, i.e., roots, shoots, and leaves. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) in all plant parts and the translocation factor (TF) within plant tissues were calculated twice during the experiment. Results demonstrated that E. crassipes accumulated high concentrations of Cr (VI) in all plant tissues examined in a dose-specific manner. High BCF was observed in the plant roots for concentrations up to 60  mg L−1, after which the accumulation in shoots and leaves was greater than in roots. The results from E. crassipes survivorship indicated that 40  mg L−1 is the threshold concentration for their survival under Cr (VI) stress. Morphological changes in the plants were examined by monitoring the change in the number of leaves and plant height under varying Cr (VI) concentrations. Impeded growth was observed due to increasing Cr (VI) concentration with maximum growth in the control group with no Cr (VI). Evapotranspiration losses were monitored and found to be minimal in experimental groups with high concentrations, displaying a negative correlation with Cr (VI) contamination. Physicochemical parameters including pH, electrical conductivity, oxidation-reduction potential, and color were also found to be significantly correlated with Cr (VI) concentration and time. The results demonstrated significant Cr (VI) accumulation in E. crassipes as well as noticeable morphological changes, making E. crassipes a suitable organism for biomonitoring and remediating Cr-contaminated sites over a relatively short time period.

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