Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Potato absorption and phytoavailability of Cd, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb in sierozem soils amended with municipal sludge compost


Effects of sludge utilization on the mobility and phytoavailability of heavy metals in soil-plant systems have attracted broad attention in recent years. In this study, we analyzed the effects of municipal sludge compost (MSC) on the solubility and plant uptake of Cd, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb in a soil-potato system to explore the mobility, potato plant uptake and enrichment of these five heavy metals in sierozem soils amended with MSC through a potato cultivation trial in Lanzhou University of China in 2014. Ridge regression analysis was conducted to investigate the phytoavailability of heavy metals in amended soils. Furthermore, CaCl2, CH3COONH4, CH3COOH, diethylene triamine pentacetic acid (DTPA) and ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) were used to extract the labile fraction of heavy metals from the amended soils. The results show that the MSC could not only improve the fertility but also increase the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content of sierozem soils. The total concentrations and labile fraction proportions of heavy metals increase with increasing MSC percentage in sierozem soils. In amended soils, Cd has the highest solubility and mobility while Ni has the lowest solubility and mobility among the five heavy metals. The MSC increases the concentrations of heavy metals in the root, stem, peel and tuber of the potato plant, with the concentrations being much higher in the stem and root than in the peel and tuber. Among the five heavy metals, the bioconcentration factor value of Cd is the highest, while that of Ni is the lowest. The complexing agent (DTPA and EDTA) extractable fractions of heavy metals are the highest in terms of phytoavailability. Soil properties (including organic matter, pH and DOC) have important impacts on the phytoavailability of heavy metals. Our results suggest that in soil-potato systems, although the MSC may improve soil fertility, it can also increase the risk of soils exposed to heavy metals.

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