The continued accumulation of trace and heavy metals in the environment presents a significant danger to biota health, including humans, which is undoubtedly undermining global environmental sustainability initiatives. Consequently, the need for efficient remediation technologies becomes imperative. Phytoremediation is one of the most viable options in this regard. Hundreds of plants in laboratory experiments demonstrate the potential to remediate varying concentrations of heavy metals; however, the remediation capacity of most of these plants proved unsatisfactory under field conditions. The identification and selection of plants with higher metal uptake capacity or hyperaccumulators are one of the limitations of this technology. Additionally, the mechanism of heavy metal uptake by plants remains to be sufficiently documented. The halophyte plants are famous for their adaptation to harsh environmental conditions, and hence could be the most suitable candidates for heavy metal hyperaccumulation. The state of Qatar in the Gulf region encompasses rich resources of halophytes that have the potential for future investment toward human and environmental health. This chapter, therefore, gives an overview of phytoremediation, with emphasis on halophytes as suitable heavy metal hyperaccumulators for improved remediation of heavy metal–contaminated areas.
Part of the book: Heavy Metals