Aluminium accumulation in a temperate accumulating plant

Symplocos paniculata flowering in the Botanical Garden Ulm, Germany.
Photo credit: Marco Schmitt

Although aluminium (Al) is toxic for the vast majority of angiosperm plants, high concentrations of Al (i.e., > 1,000 mg·kg-1 dry mass) are found in some plants. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Schmitt et al. investigated the Al accumulation behaviour in the temperate, deciduous species Symplocos paniculata, which belongs to a mainly tropical genus known to accumulate high levels of Al in its aboveground tissues. Based on a growing experiment in hydroponics with and without Al, they found that S. paniculata has the capacity to accumulate Al and that the absence of Al in the nutrient solution has a negative impact on the performance of saplings.

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