, Volume 327, Issue 1-2, pp 303-314

Evaluation of single chemical extractants for the prediction of heavy metal uptake by barley in soils amended with polluted sewage sludge

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The main aim of this study was to compare the suitability of three single chemical extractants [EDTA, CaCl2 and the low-molecular-weight organic acids solution (LMWOAs)] to estimate Cu, Zn and Ni uptake by barley (Hordeum vulgare) from rhizosphere soils, following a single application of a metal salts-spiked sewage sludge. Thirty-six contrasting soils from different parts of Spain were amended with the same dose (15.71 g dry weight kg-1) of polluted sewage sludge and sown with barley seeds under greenhouse conditions. Eight weeks after sowing, the plants were harvested and Cu, Zn and Ni were analysed in the roots. Heavy metal uptake was then compared with the theoretically available heavy metals in the rhizosphere soils, assessed by the three single chemical extractants. These three extractants alone failed to predict heavy metal uptake, and soil properties were needed to obtain accurate predictions. Thus, none of the methods tested in this study can be used as a universal soil extraction for estimating Cu, Zn and Ni uptake by barley.

Responsible Editor: Fangjie J. Zhao.