Impact of model uncertainty on soil quality standards for cadmium in rice paddy fields

P.F.A.M. Römkens, D.J. Brus, H.Y. Guo, C.L. Chu, C.M. Chiang, G.F. Koopmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


At present, soil quality standards used for agriculture do not consider the influence of pH and CEC on the uptake of pollutants by crops. A database with 750 selected paired samples of cadmium (Cd) in soil and paddy rice was used to calibrate soil to plant transfer models using the soil metal content, pH, and CEC or soil Cd and Zn extracted by 0.01 M CaCl as explanatory variables. The models were validated against a set of 2300 data points not used in the calibration. These models were then used inversely to derive soil quality standards for Japonica and Indica rice cultivars based on the food quality standards for rice. To account for model uncertainty, strict soil quality standards were derived considering a maximum probability that rice exceeds the food quality standard equal to 10 or 5%. Model derived soil standards based on Aqua Regia ranged from less than 0.3 mg kg for Indica at pH 4.5 to more than 6 mg kg for Japonica-type cultivars in clay soils at pH 7. Based on the CaCl extract, standards ranged from 0.03 mg kg Cd for Indica cultivars to 0.1 mg kg Cd for Japonica cultivars. For both Japonica and Indica-type cultivars, the soil quality standards must be reduced by a factor of 2 to 3 to obtain the strict standards. The strong impact of pH and CEC on soil quality standards implies that it is essential to correct for soil type when deriving national or local standards. Validation on the remaining 2300 samples indicated that both types of models were able to accurately predict 92%) whether rice grown on a specific soil will meet the food quality standard used in Taiwan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3098-3105
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • heavy-metals
  • contaminated soils
  • wheat-grain
  • china
  • availability
  • prediction
  • pools
  • crops
  • accumulation
  • extraction


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