Bioconcentration of Copper in Cyperus alternifolius L. (Umbrella Plant) in Butuanon River

  • Charmine I. Ronquillo Chemistry Analytical and EnvironmentaL Section II (ChAnELS II), Department of Chemistry, University of San Carlos, Cebu City
  • Leonila N. Adarna Chemistry Analytical and EnvironmentaL Section II (ChAnELS II), Department of Chemistry, University of San Carlos, Cebu City
  • Josephine M. Castañares Chemistry Analytical and EnvironmentaL Section II (ChAnELS II), Department of Chemistry, University of San Carlos, Cebu City
Keywords: Butuanon River, Cyperus alternifolius L., Umbrella Plant, bioconcentration, copper, sediment


Four sites along the Butuanon River were identified based on the presence of Cyperus alternifolius L. Composite samples of water, sediments and roots of C. alternifolius L. from each site were taken for two seasons and analyzed for copper by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (FAAS). For the dry season, copper in water, sediments and roots of C. alternifolius L. ranged from 0.007-0.016, 101.3-140.7 and 27.36 - 69.17 ppm respectively. For the wet season, copper in water, sediments and roots ranged from 0.011-0.033, 77.23-96.93 and 27.22-54.18 ppm. Pearson’s r between copper in the roots of C. alternifolius L. and water are 0.86 and 0.82 while for sediments are 0.83 and 0.86 respectively. Bioconcentration factor (BCF = Curoots /Cuwater ) during the dry and wet seasons ranged from 1750-9881 and 1441-2391 respectively. BCF relative to sediments ranged from 0.258-0.640 and 0.281-0.702 for dry and wet seasons, respectively. C. alternifolius L. has the capacity to accumulate certain amounts of copper in its roots to levels exceeding those amounts present in water but not in the sediment. C. alternifolius L. has the potential as indicator of copper pollution in the water and sediment.


Abowei JFN. The condition factor, length-weight relationship and abundance of Llisha Africana from Nkoro River, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Advance J Food Sci Techn. 2010; 2(1):16-21.

Ahmad MK, Islam S, Rahman S, Haque MR, Islam MM. Heavy metals in water, sediment and fishes of Buringanga river Bangladesh. Int J Environ Res. 2010; 4(2):321-332.

Ahmadpour P, Soleimani M, Ahmadpour F, Abdu A. Evaluation of copper bioaccumulation and translocation in Jatropha curcas Grown in a Contaminated Soil. Int J Phytoremediat. 2014; 16(5):454-468.

Akcay H, Oguz A, Karapire C. Study of heavy metal pollution and speciation in Buyak Menderes and Gediz river sediments. Water Res. 2003; 37:813-822.

Akinola MO, Ekiyoyo TA. Accumulation of lead, cadmium and chromium in some plants cultivated along the bank of river Ribila at Odonla area of Ikorodu, Lagos state, Nigeria. J Environ Biol. 2006; 27:597-599.

Akoto O, Bruce TN, Darko G. Heavy metals pollution profiles in streams serving the Owabi Reservoir. Afr J Environ Sci Tech. 2008; 2(11).

Ali N, Bernal M, Ater M. Tolerance and bioaccumulation of copper in Phragmites australis and zea mays. Plant Soil. 2002; 239:103-111.

Ashraf MA, Maah MJ, Yusoff I. Heavy metals accumulation in plants growing in ex tin mining catchment. Int J Environ Sci Tech. 2011; 8(2):401-416.

Baker AJM, Brooks RR. Terrestrial higher plants which hyperaccumulate metallic elements-A review of their distribution, ecology and phytochemistry. Biorecovery. 1989; 1:81-126.

Biggs TW, D’Anna H. Rapid increase in copper concentrations in a new marina, San Diego Bay. Mar Pollut Bull. 2012; 64:627-635.

Binning K, Baird D. Survey of heavy metals in the sediments of the Swartkops River Estuary, Port Elizabeth South Africa. Water SA. 2001; 27(4):461-466.

Bonanno G, Giudice RI. Heavy metal bioaccumulation by the organs of Phragmites australis (common reed) and their potential use as contamination indicators. Ecol Indic. 2010; 10:639-645.

Cardwell AJ, Hawker DW, Greenway, M. Metal accumulation in aquatic macrophytes from southeast Queensland, Australia. Chemosphere. 2002; 48:653–663.

Chang JS, Yoon IH, Kim KW. Heavy metal and arsenic accumulating fern species as potential ecological indicators in As-contaminated abandoned mines. Ecol Indic. 2009; 9:1275-1279.

Cheng S, Grosse W, Karrenbrock F, Thoennessen M. Efficiency of constructed wetlands in decontamination of water by heavy metals. Ecol Eng. 2002;18:317-325.

Chen CW, Chen CF, Dong CD. Copper Contamination in the Sediments of Salt River Mouth, Taiwan. Energy Procedia. 2012; 16(B):901-906.

Chukwujindu MA, Godwin EN, Francis OA. Assessment of contamination by heavy metals in sediment of Ase-River, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Res J Environ Sci. 2007; 1:220-228.

Clemens S. Molecular mechanisms of plant metal tolerance and homeostasis.Planta. 2001; 212:475-486.

Davis AP, Shokouhian MS. Loading estimates of lead, copper cadmium and zinc in urban runoff from specific sources. Chemosphere. 2001; 44:997-1009.

Eaton AD, Clesceri LS, Rice EW, Greenberg AE. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 21st ed. 2005.

Eja ME, Ogri OR, Arikpo GE. Bioconcentration of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments from the Great Kwa River Estuary, Calabar, Southeastern Nigeria. J Nig Environ Soc. 2003; 1:247-256.

Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Administrative Order No.34 (Series of 1990).

Farrag HF, Fawzy M. Phytoremediation Potentiality of Cyperus articulatus L. Life Sci J. 2012; 9(4):4032-4040.

Faucon MP, Chipeng F, Verbruggen N, Mahy G, Colinet G, Shutcha M, et. al. Copper tolerance and accumulation in two cuprophytes of South Central Africa: Crepidorhopalon perennis and C. tenuis (Linderniaceae). Environ Exp Bot. 2012; 84:11-16 (2012).

Fisher JB. Xylem derived from the intercalary meristem of Cyperus alternifolius. JSTOR. 1970; 97:58-66.

Galiulin RV, Bashkin VN, Galiulina RR, Birch P. A critical review: protection form pollution by heavy metals phytoremediation of industrial wastewater. Land Contam Reclamat. 2001; 9(4):1-10.

Gaur VK, Gupta SK, Pandey SD, Gopal K, Misra V. Distribution of heavy metals in sediment and water of river Gomti. Environ Monit Assess. 2005; 10:419-433(2005).

Georgopoulos PG, Roy A, Yonone-Lioy MJ, Opiekun RE, Lioy PJ. Copper: Environmental Dynamics and Human Exposure Issues. Cranford, New Jersey: Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI); 2001. p. 100-215.

Horsfall M, Horsfall MN, Spiff AI. Speciation of heavy metals in inter-tidal sediments of the Okrika River system, Rivers State, Nigeria. Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia. 1999; 13(1):1-9.

Johnson D, Hale B. Fine Root Decomposition and Cycling of Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn at Forest Sites Near Smelters in Sudbury, ON, and Rouyn-Noranda, QU, Canada. Hum Ecol Risk Assess. 2008; 14(1):41-53.

Karbassi AR, Monavari SM, Nabi-Bidhendi GR, Nouri J, Nematpour K. Metal pollution assessment of sediment and water in the Shur River. Environ Monitor Assess. 2008; 147(2):107-116.

Kivaisi AK. The potential for constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and reuse in developing countries: A review. Ecol Eng. 2001; 16:545-560.

Kloke A. Richwerte ‘80, Orientierungsdaten für tolerierbare Gesamtgehalte einiger Elemente in Kulturböden, Darmstadt: VDLUFA; 1980. p. 9-11.

Lepp NW, Dickinson NM. Long term Accumulation Patterns of Copper in Different aged Coffea arabica Stands. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Environmental Contamination; 1998; Venice. p. 67-69.

Li S, Zhang Q. Spatial characterization of dissolved trace elements and heavy metals in the upper Han River (China) using multivariate statistical techniques. J Hazard Mater. 2010; 176:579-588.

Lombi E, Zhao FJ, Dunham SJ, McGrath SP. Phytoremediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils: Natural hyperaccumulation versus chemically enhanced phytoextraction. J Environ Qual. 2001; 30:1919-1926.

Malik N, Biswas AK, Qureshi TA, Borana K, Virha R. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in fish tissues of a freshwater lake of Bhopal. Environ Monit Assess. 2010; 160:267.

Mayer-Pinto M, Underwood AJ, Tolhurst T, Coleman RA. Effects of metals on aquatic assemblages. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol. 2010; 391:1-9.

Mehes-Smith M. Nkongolo K, Chowela E. Coping Mechanisms of Plants to Metal Contaminated Soil. InTech. 2013. Available from:



Memon AR, Aktoprakligil D, Özdemir A, Vertii A. Heavy metal accumulation and detoxification mechanisms in plants. Turk J Bot. 2001; 25:111-121.

Mendoza CS, Suico ML. Trace metal concentrations in four selected rivers of Metro Cebu, Philippines: A baseline study. In: Proceedings of the Southwatch ’95 Conference; 1995; University of San Carlos, Cebu City. p. 79-94.

Mendoza C. Trace Metal Pollution in Selected Rivers of Metro Cebu, Philippines [master’s thesis]. Cebu City: University of San Carlos; 1993.

Mohiuddin KM, Otomo K,Ogawa Y, Shikazono N. Seasonal and spatial distribution of trace element in water and sediments of the Tsurumi River Japan. Environ Monitor Assess. 2012; 184(1):265-279

Mokhtar H, Morad N, Fizani F, Fizri A. Hyperaccumulation of copper by two species of aquatic plants. International Conference on Environment Science and Engineering; 2011. Singapore: IACSIT Press, vol. 4.

Muego A., Butuanon River Rehabilitation: A Test Case for the Clean Water Act Implementation in Metro Cebu, Philippines. Regional Conference on Urban Water and Sanitation in Southeast Asian Cities; 2006; Vientiane, Lao PDR. p. 313-328.

Nazir AR, Malik RN, Ajaib M, Khan N, Siddiqui,FM. Hyperaccumulators of heavy metals of industrial areas of islamabad and Rawalpindi. Pak J Bot. 2011; 43(4):1925-1933.

Nazareno PAG. An assessment of the water quality of Butuanon River in Mandaue City, Cebu. J Nat Sci. 2000; 5:8796.

Nicolau R. Galera CA, Lucas Y. Transfer of nutrients and labile metals from the continent to the sea by a small Mediterranean river. Chemosphere. 2006; 63(3):469-476.

Ngayila N, Botineau M, Baudu M, Basly JP. Myriophyllum alterniflorum DC.Effect of low concentrations of copper and cadmium on somatic and photosynthetic endpoints: a chemometric approach. Ecol Indic. 2009; 9:307-312.

Official Methods of Analysis. Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC 16th edition, Volume 1 Method # 975.03).

Pandey SN. Accumulation of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn) in Raphanus sativus L. and spinacia oleracea L. plants irrigated with industrial effluent. J Environ Biol. 2006; 27:381-384.

van der Perk M. Soil and Water Contamination. London: Taylor and Francis Group plc; 2006. p. 28-32.

Peng K, Luo C, Lou C, Li X, Shen Z. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals by the aquatic plants Potamogetonpectinatus L. and PotamogetonmalaianusMiq. and their potential use for contamination indicators and in wastewater treatment. Sci Tot Environ. 2008; 392:22-29.

Pugh RE, Dick DG, Fredeen AL. Heavy metal (Pb, Zn, Cd, Fe and Cu) contents of plant foliage near Anvil range Pb/ Zn mine Faro, Yukon territory. Ecotox Environ Safe. 2002; 52:273-279.

Qian JH, Zayed A, Zhu YL, Yu M, Terry N. Phytoaccumulation of trace elements by wetland plants; III. uptake and accumulation of ten trace elements by twelve plant species. J Environ Qual. 1999; 28:1448-1455.

Oquiñena MK. Copper, lead and zinc accumulation in catfish and earthworm from the butuanon River, Metro Cebu, Philippines [master’s thesis]. Cebu City; University of San Carlos;2012.

Reeve R. Introduction to Environmental Analysis. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2002.

Rosângela AJ, Eder CL, Silvio LPD, Ana CM, Flávio AP. Yellow passion-fruit shell as biosorbent to remove Cr(III) and Pb(II) from aqueous solution. Sep Purif Technol. 2007; 57:193-198.

Sinha S, Saxena R, Singh S. Comparative studies on accumulation of Cr from metal solution and tannery effluent under repeated metal exposure by aquatic plants: Its toxic effects. Environ Monitor Assess. 2002; 80:17-31.

Shuhaimi MO. Metals concentration in the sediments of Richard Lake, Sudbury Canada and sediment Toxicity in an Ampipod Hyalella azteca. J Environ Sci Technol. 2008; 1:34-41.

Selatnia A, Bakhti MZ, Madani A, Kertous L,. Mansouri Y. Biosorption de Cd2+ from aqueous solution by a NaOH-treated bacterial dead Streptomyces rimosus biomass. Hydrometallurgy. 2004; 75:11-24.

Soda S, Hamada T, Yamaoka Y, Ike M, Nakazato H, Saeki Y, et. al. Constructed wetlands for advanced treatment of wastewater with a complex matrix from a metal-processing plant: bioconcentration and translocation factors of various metals in Acorus gramineus and Cyperus alternifolius. Ecol Eng. 2012; 39:63-70.

Suico ML. Chemical speciation of copper, chromium, zinc and lead in sediments in the butuanon river, Cebu [master’s thesis]. Cebu City; University of San Carlos; 1997.

Tang S, Wilke B, Huang C. The uptake of copper by plants dominantly growing on copper mining spoils along Yangtze river, People’s Republic of China. Plant Soil, 1999; 209:225-232.

Terry N, Bañuelos G. Phytoremediation of contaminated soil and water. New York; CRC Press LLC; 2000.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. Acid Digestion of sediments sludge and soils. EPA method 3050B.

Van der Ent A, Baker AJM, Reeves RD, Pollard J, Schat H. Hyperaccumulators of metal and metalloids trace elements: Facts and Fiction. Plant Soil. 2013; 362:319-334.

Wang W, Gorsuch JW, Hughes JS. Plants for Environmental Studies. New York: CRC Press; 1997. p. 563.

Wenyin C, Zhanghe C, Qifan H, Xiaoyan W, Ciarong W, Dafeng L. Root growth of wetland plants with different root types. Acta Ecol Sin. 2007; 27(2):450-458.

WHO, 2004. Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, 3rd edition. World Health Organization, Geneva.

Yoon J, Cao X, Zhou Q, Ma LQ. Accumulation of Pb, Cu, and Zn in native plants growing on a contaminated Florida site. Sci Tot Environ. 2006; 368(23):456-464.

Zayed A, Gowthaman S, Terry N. Phytoaccumulation of trace elements by wetland plants: I. Duckweed. J Environ Qual. 1998; 27:715-721.

Zhang H, Cui B, Xiao R, Zhao H. Heavy metals in water, soils and plants in riparian wetlands in the Pearl River Estuary, South China. Int Soc Enivron Inf Sci. 2010; 2:1344-1354.

Zuehlke RW, Kester DR. Ultraviolet spectroscopic determination of the stability constants for copper carbonate and bicarbonate complexes up to ionic strength of salts. Mar Chem. 1983; 13(3):203-226.

How to Cite
Ronquillo, C. I., Adarna, L. N., & Castañares, J. M. (1). Bioconcentration of Copper in Cyperus alternifolius L. (Umbrella Plant) in Butuanon River. KIMIKA, 25(1), 11-26.
Research Articles