Modelling the Fate of Chemicals in Plants

  • Philippe CiffroyEmail author
  • Taku Tanaka
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 57)


Consumption of contaminated fruits, vegetables and/or cereals may be a significant exposure route for human exposure to chemicals. This chapter describes the processes that should be considered in models simulating the fate of chemicals in plants. The first section describes modelling approaches able to simulate the uptake of chemicals from soil to root and their subsequent transport through the xylem flow. This process is governed by the transpiration stream, driving the movement of dissolved chemicals in the continuum soil-root-stem-leaves/storage organs. Section 2 describes the transport of chemicals in the phloem system, which is responsible for distributing the products of photosynthesis from the leaves to the rest of the plant. Section 3 describes diffusion of chemicals from soil to tubers, which are botanically seen as a part of the stem. The transport of chemicals inside the tuber is driven by partition coefficients, water and gas contents, and diffusion coefficients in water/gas pores. Section 4 describes diffusive exchanges between leaves and air through both the stomata and cuticle pathways. Diffusion is driven by several permeabilities in series and/or in parallel within the leaf structure. Section 5 describes processes responsible for deposition and interception of chemicals on above-ground plant. Wet particle deposition is driven by rain events while dry deposition is driven by gravitational deposition of aerosols. Both the fractions of dry and wet deposits intercepted by leaf can be related to the interception fraction and the above-ground biomass (or leaf area index). Section 6 describes partition of chemicals between plant and plant water. Section 7 describes specific electrodiffusive processes for electrolytes. Such processes have to account for the distribution of the chemical among neutral and dissociated species and for electrical potential across the membrane. Section 8 describes data available for bioaccumulation of metals in plants.


Bioaccumulation modelling Cuticle pathway Diffusion between leaves and air Diffusion from soil Electrolytes uptake and transport Interception Partition Phloem flow Plants Stomata pathway Transpiration stream Xylem flow 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EDF R&D, National Hydraulics and Environment LaboratoryChatouFrance

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