Morpho-Physiological and Metal Accumulation Responses of Hemp Plants (Cannabis Sativa L.) Grown on Soil from an Agro-Industrial Contaminated Area
Hemp is a promising plant for phytomanagement. The possibility to couple soil restoration to industrial crop cultivation makes this plant attractive for the management of contaminated sites. In this trial, Cannabis sativa L. plants were grown in a greenhouse on soils from two sites of "Valle del Sacco" (Lazio Region, Italy), a wide area contaminated by agro-industrial activities. One site was representative of moderate and diffuse metal(loid) multi-contamination, above the Italian concentration
... alian concentration limit for agriculture (MC—moderately contaminated). The second site showed a metal(loid) content below the aforementioned limit, as a typical background level of the district (C—control). After 90 days, biometric and physiological parameters revealed satisfactory growth in both soil types. MC-grown plants showed a slight, but significant reduction in leaf area, root, and leaf biomass compared with C-grown plants. Chlorophyll content and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, namely the quantum yield of primary photochemistry (Fv/Fm) and the Performance Index (PIABS), confirmed the good physiological status of plants in both soils. Metal(loid) analyses revealed that As, V, and Pb accumulated only in the roots with significant differences in MC- and C-grown plants, while Zn was found in all organs. Overall, preliminary results showed a satisfactorily growth coupled with the restriction of toxic metal translocation in MC-grown hemp plants, opening perspectives for the phytomanagement of moderately contaminated areas.