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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 4 No. 2, p. 207-211
    Received: June 21, 1974

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Growth and Cadmium Accumulation of Plants Grown on a Soil Treated with a Cadmium-Enriched Sewage Sludge1

  1. F. T. Bingham,
  2. A. L. Page,
  3. R. J. Mahler and
  4. T. J. Ganje2



Corn, wheat, rice, field bean, soybean, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, curlycress, carrot, turnip, radish, tomato, and squash plants were grown to commercial harvest stage using as the substrate, soil pre-treated with a municipal sewage sludge (1%) containing variable amounts of CdSO4 up to 640 µg Cd/g soil. Observations included injury symptoms, yield decrement, Cd level of diagnostic tissue, and Cd and Zn content of harvested produce. Cadmium-sensitive plants such as spinach, soybean, curlycress, and lettuce were injured by soil Cd levels of 4–13 µg Cd/g soil; whereas, tomato and cabbage tolerated soil levels of approximately 170 µg Cd/g soil without exhibiting injury symptoms. Rice was tolerant at all levels tested. Leafy plants such as lettuce, spinach, and turnip greens (tops) accumulated 175 to 354 µg Cd/g; whereas, fruit and seed tissue of plants under comparable treatment, with the exception of soybean, accumulated no more than 10 to 15 µg Cd/g tissue. The concentrations for soybean extended up to 30 µg Cd/g tissue. Paddy rice exhibited no ill effects for soil Cd treatments up to 640 µg Cd/g soil. Grain of plants under the 640 µg Cd/g treatment contained 2 µg Cd/g tissue. DPTA-extractable Cd correlated (r=0.99) with the level of CdSO4 added to the substrate.

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