Identifying candidates for the phytoremediation of copper in viticultural soils: a systematic review

Widmer, Jocelyn; Norgrove, Lindsey (2023). Identifying candidates for the phytoremediation of copper in viticultural soils: a systematic review Environmental Research, 216, p. 114518. Elsevier 10.1016/j.envres.2022.114518

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For many years, copper-based fungicides have been used in viticulture and have contributed to increasing concentrations in soils. Today, it is not uncommon to find vineyard soils with total copper topsoil concentrations above 100 mg kg−1, which may have consequences for both the environment and human health. Phytoremediation, the use of plants to remove heavy metals from soils, is a promising and environmentally-friendly method to extract copper from soils. The objectives of this study were to review and synthesise the current knowledge on copper phytoremediation in vineyard soils and identify future applications. A systematic literature search in Web of Science was conducted on 19 July 2022 and resulted in twenty-seven papers meeting the inclusion criteria. Approximately one third of the papers were from Brazil and most of the experiments had been carried out in pots. In some studies, the addition of bacteria or chelators was also evaluated. Some species, such as Plantago lanceolata L. or Ricinus communis L., can accumulate copper in their tissues at concentrations above 1000 mg kg−1. Addition of bacteria and chelators to the soil can also increase the copper uptake capacity by plants. However, most of the species evaluated accumulate copper in the roots, rather than in the shoots, thus limiting the implementation of this method in practice. Further studies are thus needed to find other hyperaccumulator plants. Future research should focus primarily on the ability of plants to accumulate copper in their aerial parts, their ability to transfer copper from roots to shoots, and their biomass production under high soil copper concentrations. Longer-term experiments and more in situ testing are also needed to evaluate the potential for development and use of copper phytoremediation in vineyards. To conclude, species of the Poaceae and Lamiaceae families are the most promising so far for phytoremediation. Identifying plants able to translocate copper from the roots to the aerial parts will be an important factor in the success of this method.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture > International Agriculture and Rural Development


Widmer, Jocelyn and
Norgrove, Lindsey


Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)








Lindsey Norgrove

Date Deposited:

16 Nov 2022 10:47

Last Modified:

16 Nov 2022 10:47

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Phytoextraction, Copper, Grapevine, Phytoremediation, Vineyard




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