Tree species effect on the redistribution of soil metals

J. Mertens, L. Van Nevel, A. De Schrijver, F. Piesschaert, A. Oosterbaan, F.M.G. Tack, K. Verheyen

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73 Citations (Scopus)


Phytostabilization of metals using trees is often promoted although the influence of different tree species on the mobilization of metals is not yet clear. Soil and biomass were sampled 33 years after planting four tree species (Quercus robur, Fraxinus excelsior, Acer pseudoplatanus, Populus `Robusta¿) in a plot experiment on dredged sediment. Poplar took up high amounts of Cd and Zn and this was associated with increased Cd and Zn concentrations in the upper soil layer. The other species contained normal concentrations of Cd, Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn in their tissues. Oak acidified the soil more than the other species and caused a decrease in the concentration of metals in the upper soil layer. The pH under poplar was lower than expected and associated with high carbon concentrations in the top soil. This might be assigned to retardation of the litter decomposition due to elevated Cd and Zn concentrations in the litter. Trees (33-year-old) growing on polluted dredged sediment have influenced the metal concentration in the upper soil layer and there was a significant tree species effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-181
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • disposed dredged sediments
  • contaminated soils
  • temperate forests
  • heavy-metals
  • litter
  • land
  • cd
  • zn
  • cu
  • ecosystem

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