Original Article

Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 68, Issue 8, pp 2375-2384

Effects of humic acid on heavy metal uptake by herbaceous plants in soils simultaneously contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons

  • Soyoung ParkAffiliated withResearch Center for Ocean Industrial Development, Pukyong National University
  • , Ki Seob KimAffiliated withDepartment of Ecological Engineering, Pukyong National University
  • , Daesok KangAffiliated withDepartment of Ecological Engineering, Pukyong National University
  • , Hansam YoonAffiliated withResearch Center for Ocean Industrial Development, Pukyong National University
  • , Kijune SungAffiliated withDepartment of Ecological Engineering, Pukyong National University Email author 

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Abstract

The effects of humic acid (HA) on heavy metal uptake by herbaceous plants in soil simultaneously contaminated with heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons were investigated. The results showed that HA reduced readily soluble and exchangeable forms of heavy metals in the contaminated soil but increased their plant-available forms. Potential bioavailability and leachability factors became larger than 1 after adding HA to the soil, except for those of Ni, suggesting that more heavy metals could be potentially phytoavailable for plant uptake. Furthermore, HA increased the accumulation of Pb, Cu, Cd, and Ni in the shoots and roots of selected plants. The greatest increase in the accumulation of heavy metals was 264.7 % in the shoot of Festuca arundinacea, with the bioconcentration factor (BCF) increasing from 0.30 to 1.10. Humic acid also increased the BCFs of the roots of Brassica campestris for Ni and Pb. These results suggest that HA amendment could enhance plant uptake of heavy metals, while concurrently reducing heavy metal leachability and preventing subsurface contamination, even in soils simultaneously contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons.

Keywords

Phytoextraction Phytoavailability Bioconcentration factor (BCF) Translocation factor (TF) Bioavailability and leachability factor (BLF)