Pedosphere 20(4): 494--504, 2010
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2010 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Effect of root-induced chemical changes on dynamics and plant uptake of heavy metals in rhizosphere soils
K. R. KIM1, G. OWENS2 and R. NAIDU2,3
1 Climate Change & Agroecology Division, Department of Agricultural Environment, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon 441 857 (Republic of Korea)
2 Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095 (Australia)
3 Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095 (Australia)
      It is increasingly recognized that metal bioavailability is a better indicator of the potential for phytoremediation than the total metal concentration in soils; therefore, an understanding of the inffuence of phytoremediation plants on metal dynamics at the soil-root interface is increasingly vital for the successful implementation of this remediation technique. In this study, we investigated the heavy metal and soil solution chemical changes at field moisture, after growth of either Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) or sunffower (Helianthus annuus L.), in long-term contaminated soils and the subsequent metal uptake by the selected plants. In addition, the fractions of free metal ions in soil solution were determined using the Donnan membrane technique. After plant growth soil solution pH increased by 0.2-1.4 units and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) increased by 1-99 mg L-1 in all soils examined. Soluble Cd and Zn decreased after Indian mustard growth in all soils examined, and this was attributed to increases in soil solution pH (by 0.9 units) after plant growth. Concentrations of soluble Cu and Pb decreased in acidic soils but increased in alkaline soils. This discrepancy was likely due to a competitive effect between plant-induced pH and DOC changes on the magnitude of metal solubility. The fractions of free Cd and Zn ranged from 7.2% to 32% and 6.4% to 73%, respectively, and they generally decreased as pH and DOC increased after plant growth. Metal uptake by plants was dependant on the soil solution metal concentration, which was governed by changes in pH and DOC induced by plant exudates, rather than on the total metal concentrations. Although plant uptake also varied with metal and soil types, overall soluble metal concentrations in the rhizosphere were mainly inffuenced by root-induced changes in pH and DOC which subsequently affected the metal uptake by plants.
Key Words:  bioavailability, phytoremediation, speciation
Citation: Kim, K. R., Owens, G. and Naidu, R. 2010. Effect of root-induced chemical changes on dynamics and plant uptake of heavy metals in rhizosphere soils. Pedosphere. 20(4): 494-504.
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