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Plants are one of the most important component in

our ecosystem. The only organism that can produce their own food, through photosynthesis.
Even though they can survive on their own, plants still

depend on the environment like soil, temperature and available light.

This case analysis was conducted in order to determine

the effect of heavy metal on the leaves of rice plant and on the roots of maize
This is to enlighten the general public that mining

activities will bring long-term effect in our soil and water environment

To evaluate and compare the effects of heavy metals on

the leaves of rice plant and on the roots of maize.

This specifically aims to: 1.) determine the physic0-chemical characteristics of

polluted soit that affects the growth and development of rice plant and maize

This case analysis was based from the two previous studies: Effects of Mercury(Hg) on the growth and development of the roots of maize Effects of heavy metals on the leaves of rice plant

The researchers had determined the physico-chemical

characteristics of soil, namely :

color textural class and pH level according to the results gathered in the two studies

stated above.

Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte

Johnson Gold Mining Corporation (JGMC)

Gold ores

The mining site use Hg to extract gold in the process of

Amalgamation - In general is the process of combining

or uniting multiple entities into one form.

Is a naturally occuring inorganic element which has

been used in numerous industrial processes for centuries.

It conducts electricity, measure temperature and

pressure .
In the united states alone manufacturers use 500-600

metric tons of Hg annually and when these are released to the environment it accumulates.

When Hg is deposited in water, microorganisms help

it convert to methyl Hg, which is extremely toxic

The uptake of mercury in plants decreases growth and

induces disorientation of roots, plant tissues and cell wall

Destroys chloroplasts responsible for manufacturing

food in plant. Organelles that conduct photosynthesis

Physical Parameters
Soil Color Soil Texture

Chemical Parameter
Soil pH

Soil Color

A diagnostic feature that can tell us about a soils history, fertility for growth, mineral content, etc
Soil Texture

Helps predict the sand, silt, and clay ratio of a soil, which indicate how permeable a soil is.

Soil pH Determines the acidity of the soil.

Acidic conditions (pH<4) favor the production of methyl


Parameter Texture Color pH level

Hg Contaminated Soil Clay loam 6/6 3.6

Normal garden soil Clay loam 3/5 8.13

The soil taken from Camarines Norte was used to be

an agricultural farm. Therefore the properties of the soil are cohesive whereby the elements of the soil are held together.
A clay loam soil is generally better for plant growth

The soil obtained is found to be a mixture of black and

yellow color.
The soil is geothite a specific type of Fe(iron). This

gives the yellow pigment of the soil.

The presence of black soil states that it has an organic

matter that indicates that soil is rich and fertile.

The mercury contaminated soil from Jose Panganiban,

Camarines Norte is highly acidic.

The soil sample was taken near the seacoasts and tide

waters bring soluble sulfate anions.

Anaerobic bacteria use the sulfate as an electron

acceptor and release sulfide (S2-) which combines with iron to produce black iron sulfide.

A little hydrochloric acid (HCL) dropped on this black

pigment releases hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas.

These are called sulfidic soils, which quickly become

very acid(pH 2.5 to 3.5)

Low pH soils affects the availability of toxic materials

and this is the major reason why the root growth and development of the maize were affected.

Growing Period(days) and Length of Roots (cm) Set-up Contaminated Normal soil Day 2 1.99 2.88 Day 4 11.30 12.54 Day 6 18.67 18.88 Day 9 22.75 29.01

The growth of maize roots at contaminated soil is

faster at first, then slowed after day 6.

Maize roots at normal soil had a constant increased

growth after day 6.

The root development

was incomplete. Nodal roots were lacking in the system. Even with fertilizers, the roots became thin and brittle

Methylated mercury affects the ability to develop its

root system as well as its capacity to absorb water for plant growth.
The thin and brittle roots of maize imply that maize

grown in mercury contaminated soil will have reduced potential to attain better ground anchorage

The natural soil content of Mercury is 0.1 to 1ppm and

the maximum tolerable content is 2ppm.

Mercury (Hg) content Set-up Contaminated soil Normal garden soil Before growing 30.00* ND After Growing 1.8 NT

ND: None Detected NT: Not tested

The mercury content of the soil became lesser after the

maize were grown.

Implies that the roots absorb the Hg present in the soil

After growing period

Set-up Contaminated soil Hg Content (in ppm) 4.8*

Normal garden soil


Plant natural content = 0.04ppm

This shows the bioaccumulation of mercury in plants

as shown by higher level of Hg in the roots of maize.