Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Interaction between Cd and Pb in the soil-plant system: a case study of an arid oasis soil-cole system


The Hexi Corridor, our study area, is located in Northwest China and is also the most developed area of oasis farming in arid regions of Northwestern China. However, the rapid development of metallurgy and chemical industries in this region poses a great threat to the accumulation of heavy metals in crops. The objectives of this study are (1) to determine the influence of heavy metals on plant growth; (2) to assess the translocation capability of heavy metals in soil-plant system; and (3) to investigate the interaction between heavy metals. Pot experiments were conducted on cole (Brassica campestris L.) grown in the arid oasis soils singly and jointly treated with cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb). Nine treatments were applied into the pots. Under the same planting conditions, three scenarios of Cd, Pb and Cd–Pb were designed to compare the interaction between Cd and Pb. The results showed that the response of cole weights to Cd, Pb and Cd–Pb treatments was slight, while Cd and Pb uptakes in cole were more sensitive to the single effects of Cd and Pb concentration in soils from the lower treatment levels. Under the influence of the single Cd, Pb and joint Cd–Pb treatments, Cd concentrations were lower in the cole roots than in the shoots, while for Pb, the results were opposite. Comparison studies revealed that the interaction of Cd and Pb could weaken the cole’s ability to uptake, concentrate and translocate heavy metals in arid oasis soils.

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