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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Solubility and Plant Uptake of Metals with and without Liming of Sludge-Amended Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 27 No. 1, p. 18-23
    Received: Sept 13, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): satish-kumar.gupta@iul.admin.ch
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  1. R. Krebs,
  2. S. K. Gupta *,
  3. G. Furrer and
  4. R. Schulin
  1. Institute of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (IUL), Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL), Schwarzenburgstr. 155, CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland;
    Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, ETH Zürich, Grabenstr. 3, CH-8952 Schlieren, Switzerland.



Excessive applications of sewage sludge and pig manure have led to the accumulation of potentially toxic elements in soils. The objective of this study was to examine the NaNO3 extractability of Cu, Zn, and Cd with time and in relation to soil pH and soil organic matter content and to investigate the concentrations of these metals in pea (Pisum arvense L.) as a result of liming. The field study was conducted on an orthic luvisol with pig manure and sewage sludge application rates of 5 t dry organic matter ha−1 yr−1 from 1976 to 1984. After 1984, all field plots were equally treated with mineral fertilizers and in 1991, lime was added to half of each plot. The soil pH decreased in all unlimcd treatments about half a unit from 1985 to 1994. Concurrently, the Zn and Cd concentrations extractable with 0.1 M NaNO3 increased as well as the Cd concentrations in field pea. Liming raised the soil pH by approximately one unit to 6.4 and 6.9 in pig manure- and sewage sludge-treated plots, respectively and resulted in decreasing concentrations of Cu, Zn, and Cd in seeds and crop residues of field pea. The results suggested that plant uptake and solubility of Zn, Cu, and Cd can continue to be higher in sewage sludge- and pig manure-treated soils than in control plots during a 10-yr period after the applications were ceased. Liming most effectively reduces the solubility and the plant uptake of Zn and Cd.

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