Evaluation of dissipation mechanisms for benzo[a]pyrene in the rhizosphere of tall fescue

Margaret Katherine Banks, E. Lee, A. P. Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Although polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are common contaminants in soil and are potentially carcinogenic and mutagenic, little is known about their fate in the soil/root environment. The impact of tall rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreber) on chemical and biological transformations of benzo[a]pyrene in soil was investigated in a greenhouse experiment in which 14C-benzo[a]pyrene was added to soil and placed in sealed chambers with and without plants. The distribution of 14C in soil, plant tissue, and CO2 was quantified. Dissipation due to mineralization and volatilization accounted for <2% of the total 14C added in both planted and unplanted chambers and was greater in the presence of plants. Plant uptake of 14C was <0.12%. Residual benzo[a]pyrene was lower in soil with plants (44%) than in the absence of plants (53%). The majority of the 14C label was associated with the soil matrix. The presence of plants enhance the degradation of highly adsorbed, recalcitrant benzo[a]pyrene in soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-298
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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