One more reason to hug a tree

Independant weekly’s article about intercepting fuel pollution

before it enters our waterways

One more reason to hug a tree

This article from Independent Weekly reported on the progress a series of poplar and willow trees had in phytoremediating the fuel soaked soils surrounding an abandoned coast guard station along the banks of the Pasquotank river in Durham North Carolina.  The idea is to use these tree species that have a great affinity for water to intercept the fuel through evapotranspiration before it reaches the river.  The method proved more effective than conventional methods of intercepting the fuel before it pollutes the water source.

I found this interesting as a method of naturally removing the fuel from the soil however its affects on the tree and any organisms that feed on the tree’s foliage aren’t known.  This method has potential to be coupled with microfiltration strategies.  Mycorrhizal fungi physically filter water that passes through the mycelium.  Their network of hyphae are so tightly knit that they act as a sort of organic filtration system.  If they were to surround the pressure gradient at the trees roots, the pollutant may be more likely to be filtered and processed before it reaches the tree species even further slowing and reducing flow into the river.

Brendan Haynes

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