Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 86, Issue 1–4, pp 195–206 | Cite as

Liming effects on availability of Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn in a soil amended with sewage sludge 16 years previously

  • Sara Brallier
  • Robert B. Harrison
  • Charles L. Henry
  • Xue Dongsen


A field study was conducted to determine the plant uptake of metals in soils amended with 500 Mg ha−1 of municopal sewage sludge applied 16 yr previously. Results showed that metals were available for plan uptake after 16 yr, but that liming greatly reduced the plant availability of most metals. The application of sludge also resulted in high rates nitrification and subsequent lowering of the soil pH before the uptake study was started. The sludge-amended soil (a mesic Dystric Xerochrept) was adjusted with lime one month prior to planting from an unlimed pH of 4.6 to pH 5.8, 6.5 and 6.9. Food crops grown were: (i) bush bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Seafarer), (ii) cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. v. capitata L. cv. Copenhagen market), (iii) maize (Zea mays L. cv. FR37), (iv) lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Parris Island, (v) (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. (vi) tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L. cv. Burpee VF). With the exception of maize, yields were significantly reduced in the unlimed sludge-amended soil. However, liming increased yields above the growth level of the unlimed untreated soil for cabbage, maize, lettuce, potato tuber and tomato fruit. Soluble and exchangeable of Cd. Ni and Zn were also reduced after liming the sludge-amended soil. In both limed and unlimed soils, the majority of the soil Cu was found in insoluble and unavailable soil fractions. To evaluate trace metal uptake, the edible portion of each crop was analyzed for Cd, Cu, ni and Zn. Liming redoced uptake of Cd, Ni and Zn in most crops, but generally did not change Cu, This study shows the benefit of pH adjustment in reducing relative solubility and plant uptake of metals as well as increasing crop yield in acid soils.


Sludge Lime Sewage Sludge Plant Uptake Tomato Fruit 
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Copyright information

© KluwerAcademic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Brallier
    • 1
  • Robert B. Harrison
    • 1
  • Charles L. Henry
    • 1
  • Xue Dongsen
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Forest Resources, AR-10University of WashingtonSeattle
  2. 2.Contribution of the College of Forest Resources, AR-10University of WashingtonSeattleU.S.A.

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