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Peter Jauert

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

R. Neil Reese


Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal found naturally in soils throughout the Midwest as well as in sites of mining, processing, and manufacturing. Two proposed methods for cleaning up these sites involve the use of cover crops to ameliorate the soil. These crops may be used to change the soil characteristics making the cadmium unavailable to crops. In smaller sites, cover crops that would take up high levels of cadmium could be grown and harvested, physically removing the cadmium from the soil. Strawberry clover (Trifolium fragife rum L.) is a legume found throughout the world. It is a very hardy plant with the ability to tolerate saline and alkaline soils as well as flooding, making it a good prospect for reclamation purposes. A research project was developed to examine accessions of strawberry clover representing worldwide populations. Seeds from selected accessions were planted in the greenhouse for comparison of morphological variation. Strawberry clover accessions were also grown hydroponically to examine differences in cadmium uptake. The ability of strawberry clover roots to change rhizosphere pH and take up cadmium was examined using culture tubes containing nutrient agar, a moderate level of cadmium and a pH indicator dye. The results provided evidence for a negative correlation between rhizoshpere pH and cadmium uptake.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Strawberry clover
Soils -- Cadmium content
Soil remediation




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