PLoS One. 2023 Jan 18;18(1):e0280449. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280449. eCollection 2023.
Heavy metal pollution is becoming a serious problem in wetland and often co-occurs with nutrient availability and light conditions variation. We hypothesized that nutrient availability and light condition can affect the growth of wetland plants under heavy metal stress. To test this hypothesis, single ramets of a common, clonal wetland plant Hydrocotyle vulgaris were grown for four weeks at three levels of cadmium with three levels of nutrient availability under 30% or 100% light conditions. High level of nutrient availability and high light condition overall promoted growth of H. vulgaris under Cd stress. Under the two light conditions, responses of H. vulgaris to Cd treatments differed among three nutrient levels. Under 30% light condition, 2 mg L-1 Cd2+ treatment decreased total mass at the low nutrient level and decreased ramet number at the medium nutrient level; 0.5 and 2 mg L-1 Cd2+ treatments decreased leaf mass ratio at the low and the medium nutrient levels. Under 100% light condition, 2 mg L-1 Cd2+ treatments significantly decreased total mass at the high level of nutrients; 2 mg L-1 Cd2+ treatment decreased ramet number at the medium and the high nutrient levels and decreased leaf mass ratio at the medium nutrient levels. Our results suggested that Cd stress can interact with nutrient availability and light condition to affect the performance of wetland plants such as H. vulgaris.