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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 2, p. 485-492
    Received: July 17, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): ybma@caas.ac.cn
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Speciation and Isotopic Exchangeability of Nickel in Soil Solution

  1. Annette L. Nolana,
  2. Yibing Ma *ab,
  3. Enzo Lombiac and
  4. Mike J. McLaughlinad
  1. a Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, CSIRO Land and Water, PMB 2, Glen Osmond, SA 5064 Australia
    b current address: Inst. of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 12 South St of Zhonguancun, Beijing 100081, China
    c current address: Plant and Soil Science Lab., Dep. of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Life Science, Univ. of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
    d Soil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The Univ. of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond SA 5064, Australia


Knowledge of trace metal speciation in soil pore waters is important in addressing metal bioavailability and risk assessment of contaminated soils. In this study, free Ni2+ activities were determined in pore waters of long-term Ni-contaminated soils using a Donnan dialysis membrane technique. The pore water free Ni2+ concentration as a percentage of total soluble Ni ranged from 21 to 80% (average 53%), and the average amount of Ni bound to dissolved organic matter estimated by Windermere Humic Aqueous Model VI was ≤17%. These data indicate that complexed forms of Ni can constitute a significant fraction of total Ni in solution. Windermere Humic Aqueous Model VI provided reasonable estimates of free Ni2+ fractions in comparison to the measured fractions (R2 = 0.83 with a slope of 1.0). Also, the isotopically exchangeable pools (E value) of soil Ni were measured by an isotope dilution technique using water extraction, with and without resin purification, and 0.1 mol L−1 CaCl2 extraction, and the isotopic exchangeability of Ni species in soil water extracts was investigated. The concentrations of isotopically non-exchangeable Ni in water extracts were <9% of total water soluble Ni concentrations for all soils. The resin E values expressed as a percentage of the total Ni concentrations in soil showed that the labile Ni pool ranged from 0.9 to 32.4% (average 12.4%) of total soil Ni. Therefore the labile Ni pool in these well-equilibrated contaminated soils appears to be relatively small in relation to total Ni concentrations.

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