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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Plant and Environment Interactions

Biogeochemistry of Fluoride in a Plant–Solution System


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 32 No. 6, p. 2230-2237
    Received: June 29, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): cmackow@cc.usu.edu
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  1. C. L. Mackowiak *,
  2. P. R. Grossl and
  3. B. G. Bugbee
  1. Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology Dep., Utah State Univ., Logan UT 84322-4820


Fluoride (F) pollutants can harm plants and the animals feeding on them. However, it is largely unknown how complexing and chelating agents affect F bioavailability. Two studies were conducted that measured F bioavailability and uptake by rice (Oryza sativa L.). In the first study, rice was grown in solution culture (pH 5.0) with 0, 2, or 4 mM F as KF to compare the interaction of F with humic acid (HA) and with a conventional chelating agent, N-hydroxyethylenthylenediaminetriacetic acid (HEDTA). In the second study, F was supplied at 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mM KF with an additional 2 mM F treatment containing solution Ca at 2× (2 mM Ca) the level used in the first study, to test the effect added Ca had on F availability and uptake. Total biomass was greatest with HEDTA and F < 1 mM Leaf and stem F concentrations increased exponentially as solution F increased linearly, with nearly no F partitioning into the seed. Results suggest that F was taken up as HF0 while F uptake was likely restricted. Additionally, F competed with HA for Ca, thus preventing the formation of Ca–HA flocculents. The addition of soluble Ca resulted in the precipitation of CaF2 solids on the root surface, as determined by tissue analysis and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.

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