Long-term phytoremediation using the symbiotic Pongamia pinnata reshaped soil micro-ecological environment

Xiumei Yu (Lead / Corresponding author), Tian Shen, Xia Kang, Yongliang Cui, Qiang Chen, Muhammad Shoaib, Han Liu, Fang Zhang, Sajad Hussain, Quanju Xiang, Ke Zhao, Yunfu Gu, Menggen Ma, Shuangcheng Li, Likou Zou, Yueyang Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the effects of phytoremediation on ecological environments is a core issue in soil bioremediation. However, the response of soil micro-ecological environment to long-term phytoremediation of symbiotic legume is still unknown. To address this issue, we focused on the changes of soil physicochemical properties, microbial communities, ecological functions, and correlation relationships of microbial populations in the V[sbnd]Ti magnetite mine tailings subsoil and the natural topsoil after three years' in-situ phytoremediation using the symbiotic Pongamia pinnata. The results showed that the bioavailability of soil nutrients and metals had undergone different degrees of significant changes in the two different metallic soil types after phytoremediation. It was revealed by changes in alpha-diversity indices, relative microbial abundance, LEfSe scores, and the number of significant OTUs that long-term phytoremediation using P. pinnata significantly altered soil microbial communities. This shift further caused a significant change in soil ecological functions and microbial community correlations. All changes in ecological functions caused by P. pinnata were in different degrees in the two different soil types. The Bray-Curtis based redundancy analysis (bcRDA) indicated that the shift of microbial communities was driven by several bioavailable nutrients and metals. Therefore, this study proved that long-term phytoremediation of symbiotic legumes could reshape soil microbial communities, and implied that a dramatic change in soil micro-ecological environment and an improvement of soil quality were the results of following long-term phytoremediation using the symbiotic legume.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145112
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date6 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2021


  • Metallic soil
  • Microbial community
  • Phytoremediation
  • Pongamia pinnata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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