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Biological Approaches to Controlling Pollutants
2022, 321-363

Higher plant remediation to control pollutants

Pankaj Kumar Jain1, Prama Esther Soloman1, R.K. Gaur2

Indira Gandhi Centre for Human Ecology, Environmental and Population Studies, Department of Environmental Science University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Abstract

The quality of life on earth is completely dependent on the environment. The aquatic and terrestrial systems are the two major ecosystems on earth. In ancient times, our natural systems were efficient at absorbing and breaking down pollutants and maintaining the quality of our environment. But now, owing to population explosion, rapid industrialization, and urbanization, humans have produced and added a tremendous number of pollutants in enormous volumes to the environment. As a result, our environment has become polluted and unhealthy. There are various types of pollution, e.g., water, air, soil, noise, and thermal. The invention of modern technologies to exploit natural resources has also aggravated the rate of pollution. The problem of environmental pollution can be mitigated in many ways, but the most suitable methods are biological, in which green plants are used. These plants can absorb and degrade pollutants and act as both biomitigators and bioindicators. Aquatic plants can be used to treat water pollution, and terrestrial plants can be grown around industrial and urban areas to treat air pollution. The utilization of plants to treat pollution is known as phytoremediation. This treatment is considered an ecologically sustainable and cost-effective strategy to alleviate water and air pollution. In the present chapter, we discuss the role of higher plant species in mitigating pollution and the mechanisms they use.

Keywords: Air and water pollution, Green plants, Heavy metals, Phytoremediation.

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