Long-Term Monitoring (LTM) of Groundwater Remedial Projects is Costly and Time-Consuming, Particularly When using Phytoremediation, a Long-Term Remedial Approach. the Use of Trees as Sensors of Groundwater Contamination (I.e., Phytoscreening) Has Been Widely Described, Although the Use of Trees to Provide Long-Term Monitoring of Such Plumes (Phytomonitoring) Has Been More Limited Due to Unexplained Variability of Contaminant Concentrations in Trees. to Assess This Variability, We Developed an in Planta Sampling Method to Obtain High-Frequency Measurements of Chlorinated Ethenes in Oak (Quercus Rubra) and Baldcypress (Taxodium Distichum) Trees Growing above a Contaminated Plume during a 4-Year Trial. the Data Set Revealed that Contaminant Concentrations Increased Rapidly with Transpiration in the Spring and Decreased in the Fall, Resulting in Perchloroethene (PCE) and Trichloroethene (TCE) Sapwood Concentrations an Order of Magnitude Higher in Late Summer as Compared to Winter. Heartwood PCE and TCE Concentrations Were More Buffered Against Seasonal Effects. Rainfall Events Caused Negligible Dilution of Contaminant Concentrations in Trees after Precipitation Events. Modeling Evapotranspiration Potential from Meteorological Data and Comparing the Modeled Uptake and Transport with the 4 Years of High Frequency Data Provides a Foundation to Advance the Implementation of Phytomonitoring and Improved Understanding of Plant Contaminant Interactions.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


National Science Foundation, Grant 1336877

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1520-5851; 0013-936X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 American Chemical Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

16 Sep 2014

PubMed ID