Environmental pollution specifically water pollution is alarming both in the developed and developing countries. Heavy metal contamination of water resources is a critical issue which adversely affects humans, plants and animals. Phytoremediation is a cost-effective remediation technology which able to treat heavy metal polluted sites. This environmental friendly method has been successfully implemented in constructed wetland (CWs) which is able to restore the aquatic biosystem naturally. Nowadays, many aquatic plant species are being investigated to determine their potential and effectiveness for phytoremediation application, especially high growth rate plants i.e. macrophytes. Based on the findings, phytofiltration (rhizofiltration) is the sole method which defined as heavy metals removal from water by aquatic plants. Due to specific morphology and higher growth rate, free-floating plants were more efficient to uptake heavy metals in comparison with submerged and emergent plants. In this review, the potential of wide range of aquatic plant species with main focus on four well known species (hyper-accumulators): Pistia stratiotes, Eicchornia spp., Lemna spp. and Salvinia spp. was investigated. Moreover, we discussed about the history, methods and future prospects in phytoremediation of heavy metals by aquatic plants comprehensively.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.