Heavy metal threats to plants and soil life in Southern Africa: Present knowledge and consequences for ecological risk assessment

Herman Eijsackers, Adriaan Reinecke, Sophié Reinecke, Mark Maboeta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In recent times there has been remarkable development in the field of soil ecotoxicology and risk assessment (RA) models. It is, however, debatable if these RA models are robust representatives for worldwide relevance. In order to investigate this, the current overview aims to address heavy metal threats to soil life in southern Africa by investigating present knowledge and consequences for RA using research in southern Africa as a case. To this end, the focus is on southern African soils, soil life and living conditions. To critically discuss these issues, we report on extensive research conducted in the southern African context and looked how comparable these findings are to RA models employed in the western world. This is done by providing an inventory of selected studies focused on the ecotoxicity of metals towards soil life. It is concluded that there is a dearth of information on southern African soil life, most of which are laboratory-based studies carried out by a handful of researchers. Future research incorporating the available information into a soil ecosystem assessment procedure is paramount. It is recommended that a starting point to tackle this might be the development of holistic sight-specific guidelines for ecological risk assessment at larger spatial scales (km2) which takes into cognizance landscapes, vegetation and faunal characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Pages29-70
Number of pages42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameReviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume249
ISSN (Print)0179-5953

Fingerprint

Southern Africa
Heavy Metals
Risk assessment
Heavy metals
Soil
Soils
Ecotoxicology
Western World
Social Conditions
Research
Ecosystems
Ecosystem
Metals
Research Personnel
Guidelines
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • African soils
  • Anthropogenic impacts
  • Background metal concentrations
  • Biomarkers
  • Contamination
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Edible plants
  • Environmental conditions
  • Heavy metals
  • Legislation
  • Metal contaminated soils
  • Metals in plants
  • Mine waste
  • Mining
  • Plant-soil life interaction
  • Regional risk assessment
  • Restoration
  • Risk assessment
  • Soil ecotoxicology
  • Soil mesofauna
  • Soil microorganisms
  • Soil quality
  • Soil threats
  • South Africa

Cite this

Eijsackers, H., Reinecke, A., Reinecke, S., & Maboeta, M. (2020). Heavy metal threats to plants and soil life in Southern Africa: Present knowledge and consequences for ecological risk assessment. In Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (pp. 29-70). (Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; Vol. 249). Springer New York LLC. https://doi.org/10.1007/398_2019_23
Eijsackers, Herman ; Reinecke, Adriaan ; Reinecke, Sophié ; Maboeta, Mark. / Heavy metal threats to plants and soil life in Southern Africa: Present knowledge and consequences for ecological risk assessment. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Springer New York LLC, 2020. pp. 29-70 (Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology).
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Eijsackers, H, Reinecke, A, Reinecke, S & Maboeta, M 2020, Heavy metal threats to plants and soil life in Southern Africa: Present knowledge and consequences for ecological risk assessment. in Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, vol. 249, Springer New York LLC, pp. 29-70. https://doi.org/10.1007/398_2019_23

Heavy metal threats to plants and soil life in Southern Africa: Present knowledge and consequences for ecological risk assessment. / Eijsackers, Herman; Reinecke, Adriaan; Reinecke, Sophié; Maboeta, Mark.

Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Springer New York LLC, 2020. p. 29-70 (Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; Vol. 249).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

TY - CHAP

T1 - Heavy metal threats to plants and soil life in Southern Africa: Present knowledge and consequences for ecological risk assessment

AU - Eijsackers, Herman

AU - Reinecke, Adriaan

AU - Reinecke, Sophié

AU - Maboeta, Mark

PY - 2020/1/1

Y1 - 2020/1/1

N2 - In recent times there has been remarkable development in the field of soil ecotoxicology and risk assessment (RA) models. It is, however, debatable if these RA models are robust representatives for worldwide relevance. In order to investigate this, the current overview aims to address heavy metal threats to soil life in southern Africa by investigating present knowledge and consequences for RA using research in southern Africa as a case. To this end, the focus is on southern African soils, soil life and living conditions. To critically discuss these issues, we report on extensive research conducted in the southern African context and looked how comparable these findings are to RA models employed in the western world. This is done by providing an inventory of selected studies focused on the ecotoxicity of metals towards soil life. It is concluded that there is a dearth of information on southern African soil life, most of which are laboratory-based studies carried out by a handful of researchers. Future research incorporating the available information into a soil ecosystem assessment procedure is paramount. It is recommended that a starting point to tackle this might be the development of holistic sight-specific guidelines for ecological risk assessment at larger spatial scales (km2) which takes into cognizance landscapes, vegetation and faunal characteristics.

AB - In recent times there has been remarkable development in the field of soil ecotoxicology and risk assessment (RA) models. It is, however, debatable if these RA models are robust representatives for worldwide relevance. In order to investigate this, the current overview aims to address heavy metal threats to soil life in southern Africa by investigating present knowledge and consequences for RA using research in southern Africa as a case. To this end, the focus is on southern African soils, soil life and living conditions. To critically discuss these issues, we report on extensive research conducted in the southern African context and looked how comparable these findings are to RA models employed in the western world. This is done by providing an inventory of selected studies focused on the ecotoxicity of metals towards soil life. It is concluded that there is a dearth of information on southern African soil life, most of which are laboratory-based studies carried out by a handful of researchers. Future research incorporating the available information into a soil ecosystem assessment procedure is paramount. It is recommended that a starting point to tackle this might be the development of holistic sight-specific guidelines for ecological risk assessment at larger spatial scales (km2) which takes into cognizance landscapes, vegetation and faunal characteristics.

KW - African soils

KW - Anthropogenic impacts

KW - Background metal concentrations

KW - Biomarkers

KW - Contamination

KW - Ecological risk assessment

KW - Edible plants

KW - Environmental conditions

KW - Heavy metals

KW - Legislation

KW - Metal contaminated soils

KW - Metals in plants

KW - Mine waste

KW - Mining

KW - Plant-soil life interaction

KW - Regional risk assessment

KW - Restoration

KW - Risk assessment

KW - Soil ecotoxicology

KW - Soil mesofauna

KW - Soil microorganisms

KW - Soil quality

KW - Soil threats

KW - South Africa

U2 - 10.1007/398_2019_23

DO - 10.1007/398_2019_23

M3 - Chapter

T3 - Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

SP - 29

EP - 70

BT - Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

PB - Springer New York LLC

ER -

Eijsackers H, Reinecke A, Reinecke S, Maboeta M. Heavy metal threats to plants and soil life in Southern Africa: Present knowledge and consequences for ecological risk assessment. In Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Springer New York LLC. 2020. p. 29-70. (Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology). https://doi.org/10.1007/398_2019_23