Numerous Studies Have Demonstrated Trees' Ability to Extract and Translocate Moderately Hydrophobic Contaminants, and Sampling Trees for Compounds Such as BTEX Can Help Delineate Plumes in the Field. However, When BTEX is Detected in the Groundwater, Detection in Nearby Trees is Not as Reliable an Indicator of Subsurface Contamination as Other Compounds Such as Chlorinated Solvents. Aerobic Rhizospheric and Bulk Soil Degradation is a Potential Explanation for the Observed Variability of BTEX in Trees as Compared to Groundwater Concentrations. the Goal of This Study Was to Determine the Effect of Groundwater Level on BTEX Concentrations in Tree Tissue. the Central Hypothesis Was Increased Vadose Zone Thickness Promotes Biodegradation of BTEX Leading to Lower BTEX Concentrations in overlying Trees. Storage Methods for Tree Core Samples Were Also Investigated as a Possible Reason for Tree Cores Revealing Lower Than Expected BTEX Levels in Some Sampling Efforts. the Water Level Hypothesis Was Supported in a Greenhouse Study, Where Water Table Level Was Found to Significantly Affect Tree BTEX Concentrations, Indicating that the Influx of Oxygen Coupled with the Presence of the Tree Facilitates Aerobic Biodegradation of BTEX in the Vadose Zone. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

biodegradation; phytoforensics; phytoscreening; SPME

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1549-7879; 1522-6514

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Taylor and Francis Group; Taylor and Francis, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2013

PubMed ID