Uptake of soil cadmium by three field crops and its prediction by a pHdependent Freundlich sorption model

P. del Castilho, W.J. Chardon

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    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Crop contamination with cadmium is a function of soil contamination. Here we study the applicability of the soil solution bioavailability hypothesis to Cd: that is, whether uptake of Cd was more directly related to its concentration or activity in the soil solution than in the soil solid phase. Experimental data from past soil-crop surveys for Cd were used to test this hypothesis. It was also investigated whether pH-dependent desorption of cadmium would be an important mechanisms in affecting cadmium activity and thus uptake. To do so we calculated the correlation between the Cd transfer factor (ratio between Cd level in plant dry material and Cd level in the topsoil) and either the soil pH, or the calculated soil solution Cd concentrations. There was no correlation between the Cd contents of the soil and of the edible parts of leafy plants (endive, spinach and lettuce). There was a strong negative correlation between soil pH and the log transfer factor for Cd at pH 4.5–7.2 and thus plant content. There also was a negative correlation between soil pH and calculated cadmium concentrations in the soil solution. For spinach grown on soils with pH > 7.2 the transfer factor increased, which is tentatively ascribed to cadmium mobilization by dissolved organic matter. The soil solution hypothesis should be further tested by pot and field trials. Special attention should be paid to the role of pH and dissolved organic matter. A C Borstlap Section editor
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)263-266
    JournalPlant and Soil
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


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