iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Physiological performance and growth of Viburnum tinus L. on phytoremediated sediments for plant nursing purpose

Francesca Ugolini (1)   , Costanza Calzolari (1), Giuseppe Mario Lanini (1), Luciano Massetti (1), Francesco Sabatini (1), Fabrizio Ungaro (1), Stefania Damiano (2), Carlos Garcia Izquierdo (3), Cristina Macci (4), Grazia Masciandaro (4)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 55-63 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1840-009
Published: Jun 23, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: IUFRO RG7.01.00 - Nice (France 2015)
Global Challenges of Air Pollution and Climate Change to Forests
Guest Editors: Elena Paoletti, Pierre Sicard

Sediments are fundamental resources for productive activities like plant nursing, which are also likely to be responsible of their loss. In contrast, other activities like the dredging of canals and waterways involve the extraction and continuous accumulation of sediments. Most dredged sediments are polluted, and need to be stocked and transported to landfills, with extremely high costs for transport and management. To address these problems, a low-cost remediation methodology was previously developed to decontaminate sediments which were tested for use in plant nursery field plantations located in Pistoia (Italy). The phytoremediated sediments were mixed in percentages of 33% and 50% with alluvial soil, which itself was used as control. We studied the characteristics of these mixtures, and the physiological response and growth of Viburnum tinus L. grown on each substrate, as well as its corresponding root ball. Substrates with sediments showed quick water infiltration and no waterlogging, in sharp contrast to what was observed in autumn in the control. Despite a rainy summer, V. tinus demonstrated a good acclimation to the different substrates, showing the lowest leaf water potentials in mixed substrates and no signs of stress. No differences in leaf carbon assimilation or transpiration were observed among substrates, while in late August plants grown on substrates with sediments showed a higher performance index for energy conservation from photons absorbed by PSII to the reduction of intersystem electron acceptors. In the 50% mixture, there was also an enhancement of electron transport from PSII to PSI. Moreover, no differences in growth and biomass were found. Plants in all substrates showed some thin-root mortality, likely due to the persistent rainfall, though a higher number of plants with dead roots was observed in control. Thanks to the dense and fibrous root apparatus of V. tinus, the mixture with 33% sediments produced satisfactory results even for the root ball, resulting in less deformation and a lower breakage percentage.


Biomass, Field Plantations, Leaf Gas Exchanges, Plant Nursing, PSII Efficiency, Root Balls, Sediments

Authors’ address

Francesca Ugolini
Costanza Calzolari
Giuseppe Mario Lanini
Luciano Massetti
Francesco Sabatini
Fabrizio Ungaro
Institute of Biometeorology-CNR, v. G. Caproni 8, I-50145 Firenze (Italy)
Stefania Damiano
Department of Biology, University of Florence, v. Micheli 1, I-50121 Firenze (Italy)
Carlos Garcia Izquierdo
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científica - Centro de Edafología y Biología Applicada del Segura, Campus Espinardo, Murcia (Spain)
Cristina Macci
Grazia Masciandaro
Institute of Ecosystem Study-CNR, Area di Ricerca di Pisa, v. Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa (Italy)

Corresponding author

Francesca Ugolini


Ugolini F, Calzolari C, Lanini GM, Massetti L, Sabatini F, Ungaro F, Damiano S, Izquierdo CG, Macci C, Masciandaro G (2016). Physiological performance and growth of Viburnum tinus L. on phytoremediated sediments for plant nursing purpose. iForest 10: 55-63. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1840-009

Academic Editor

Elena Paoletti

Paper history

Received: Aug 31, 2015
Accepted: Mar 05, 2016

First online: Jun 23, 2016
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 3.67 months

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