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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Effect of Chloride in Soil Solution on the Plant Availability of Biosolid-Borne Cadmium


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 2, p. 496-504
    Received: Nov 7, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): karinweggler@yahoo.de
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  1. Karin Weggler *a,
  2. Michael J. McLaughlinbc and
  3. Robin D. Grahamc
  1. a State Forests of NSW, Research and Development Division, PO Box 100, Beecroft, NSW 2119, Australia
    b CSIRO Division of Land and Water, PMB 2, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    c University of Adelaide, Department of Plant Science, Waite Road, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia


Increasing chloride (Cl) concentration in soil solution has been shown to increase cadmium (Cd) concentration in soil solution and Cd uptake by plants, when grown in phosphate fertilizer– or biosolid-amended soils. However, previous experiments did not distinguish between the effect of Cl on biosolid-borne Cd compared with soil-borne Cd inherited from previous fertilizer history. A factorial pot experiment was conducted with biosolid application rates of 0, 20, 40, and 80 g biosolids kg−1 and Cl concentration in soil solution ranging from 1 to 160 mM Cl. The Cd uptake of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Halberd) was measured and major cations and anions in soil solution were determined. Cadmium speciation in soil solution was calculated using GEOCHEM-PC. The Cd concentration in plant shoots and soil solution increased with biosolid application rates up to 40 g kg−1, but decreased slightly in the 80 g kg−1 biosolid treatment. Across biosolid application rates, the Cd concentration in soil solution and plant shoots was positively correlated with the Cl concentration in soil solution. This suggests that biosolid-borne Cd is also mobilized by chloride ligands in soil solution. The soil solution CdCl+ activity correlated best with the Cd uptake of plants, although little of the variation in plant Cd concentrations was explained by activity of CdCl+ in higher sludge treatments. It was concluded that chloro-complexation of Cd increased the phytoavailability of biosolid-borne Cd to a similar degree as soil (fertilizer) Cd. There was a nonlinear increase in plant uptake and solubility of Cd in biosolid-amended soils, with highest plant Cd found at the 40 g kg−1 rate of biosolid application, and higher rates (80 g kg−1) producing lower plant Cd uptake and lower Cd solubility in soil. This is postulated to be a result of Cd retention by CaCO3 formed as a result of the high alkalinity induced by biosolid application.

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