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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 1 No. 3, p. 288-291
    Received: Nov 18, 1971

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Cadmium Absorption and Growth of Various Plant Species as Influenced by Solution Cadmium Concentration1

  1. A. L. Page,
  2. F. T. Bingham and
  3. C. Nelson2



Solution culture techniques were used to study the response of corn, turnips, beets, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, green peppers, and barley to Cd levels in solution in the range of 0.1 to 10 µg/ml. Tolerance of the plants to Cd varied. Growth of beets, beans, and turnips was reduced by 50% at Cd solution concentrations of 0.2 µg/ml. Similar growth reductions for corn and lettuce occurred where the solution concentration level was about 1 µg Cd/ml. Tomatoes and barley were somewhat more tolerant with levels of about 5 µg Cd/ml required to produce 50% growth reduction. Cabbage, the most tolerant plant species tested, showed 50% growth reduction at Cd solution concentrations of 9 µg/ml.

Cadmium concentrations of plant leaves increased as the amount of Cd added to the substrate solution increased. Amounts accumulated when the solution concentration was 0.1 µg/ml varied between 9 µg/g (bean leaves) and 90 µg/g (corn leaves). At solution concentrations of 1.0 µg Cd/ml the range was 35 µg/g (bean leaves) to 469 µg/g (turnip leaves). Similarly at 10 µg Cd/ml the range was 175 µg/g (barley) to 112 µg/g (tomato leaves). The results presented show that plants vary in their tolerance to Cd solution levels and their leaves are capable of accumulating excessive Cd amounts when the solution concentration is of the order of a few tenths of a µg/ml.

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