Haloconduction as a remediation strategy: Capture and quantification of salts excreted by recretohalophytes

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Yun, Kassandra B. M.
Koster, Sonja
Rutter, Allison
Zeeb, Barbara A.
Cement kiln dust , Chloride , Haloconduction , Halophyte , Phytoremediation , Phytotechnologies , Recretohalophyte , Soil salinization
Recretohalophytes employ specialized glands to excrete salt ions onto their tissue surfaces, which then have the potential to be transported away from the plant via wind in a process referred to as ‘haloconduction’. Spartina pectinata and Distichlis spicata were selected to investigate the potential to remediate a cement kiln dust landfill in Bath, ON via salt excretion and haloconduction. Under ideal conditions in the laboratory, measurements of salt excreted by large (>15 shoots and > 50 cm height) plants of each species were 280 ± 164 g/m2 and 164 ± 75 g/m2, respectively, resulting in potential remediation timeframes of 1.4 ± 0.9 and 2.4 ± 1.1 years. Three salt collection methods were developed and installed in the field to test their efficacy for capturing and measuring windborne salt mobilized from plant surfaces. All three methods (two ground-level and one at 260 cm height) were successful in capturing and quantifying airborne salts up to 15 m from the plots. This study is the first to collect and quantify dispersed salt from recretohalophytes and hence confirm the theory of haloconduction, a promising new remediation technology for salt-impacted soils.