Phytoextraction with crops and bioenergy plants or trees has been proposed as a suitable alternative to the destructive techniques used thus far to clean up soils contaminated with heavy metals. This is one of the two possible approaches that are followed in phytoextraction; the other one is the use of hyperaccumulating plants. The crop and energy plants have opposite characteristics to hyperac-cumulators: they are well known plants with large yields and fast growth, but they are usually not metal specific and they accumulate below the hyperaccumulation thresholds. Plants or seeds are readily available and some have already been tested in the field [1-3]. On the other hand, very few species (if any) of hyperaccumulators are presently available for field application under temperate climate (lack of nurseries or seed producers), so the use of hyperaccumulators might need to be dismissed for remediation of large areas.
In general, the use of plants to remove metals from soils is environmental friendly and its cost is low compared to engineering-based techniques such as soil capping, soil washing, vitrification, land-filling, etc. Additionally, it is an in situ and solar-generated technique that could help to rehabilitate large areas of agricultural soils contaminated mostly in the upper
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