Date of Award





Earth and Space Science - Environmental Science Track


Earth & Space Science

First Advisor

Brian W. Schwartz


Environmental contamination has increased rapidly in recent years. There is a need to develop cheap and environmentally friendly remediation methods. Numerous studies have evaluated the ability plants to remove contaminants from the environment. The present study evaluated the ability of Ceratopteris richardii gametophytes and sporophytes to tolerate copper, lead and zinc and for the sporophytes to accumulate the three metals in their shoots. Spores were sown in plant medium treated with varying concentrations of Cu, Pb and Zn. Fifteen-day- old sporophytes were transferred into medium mixed with varying concentrations of the three metals. Ceratopteris richardii tolerated and accumulated each of the three metals differently. Pb was toierated at higher levels than the other two in both the gametophytes and sporophytes but was accumulated the least. Cu was the least tolerated in both gametophytes and sporophytes but was accumulated at significant levels. Ceratopteris richardii tolerated Zn at moderate levels in both gametophytes and sporophytes but was accumulated at higher levels than Cu and Pb by the sporophytes.