Plant and Soil

, Volume 372, Issue 1–2, pp 221–233 | Cite as

The effect of rate and Cd concentration of repeated phosphate fertilizer applications on seed Cd concentration varies with crop type and environment

  • Cynthia GrantEmail author
  • Don Flaten
  • Mario Tenuta
  • Sukhdev Malhi
  • Wole Akinremi
Regular Article


Background and aims

Limited information is available on how cadmium (Cd) applied in phosphate fertilizer interacts with soil and environmental conditions over time to affect crop Cd concentrations.


Field studies from 2002 to 2009 at seven locations evaluated the cumulative effects of P fertilizer rate and Cd concentration on seed Cd concentration of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) and flax (Linum usitatissiumum L.).


Soil characteristics and environment affected Cd availability. Durum wheat grain Cd increased with P fertilizer rate but effect on flaxseed Cd concentration was smaller. Cadmium concentration in fertilizer had a greater effect on flaxseed than durum wheat Cd concentration. Seed Cd concentration of both crops was greatest with the highest rate P fertilizer containing the highest Cd concentration. There was not a strong cumulative effect of fertilization over the 8 years of the study, indicating attenuation of Cd availability over time.


Cadmium in phosphate fertilizer increases Cd available for crop uptake, but crop Cd concentration is also affected by soil characteristics and annual environmental conditions. Type of crop produced and soil and environmental characteristics that affect phytoavailability must be taken into account when assessing the Cd risk from P fertilization.


Cadmium Durum wheat Flaxseed Linseed Metal Trace element 



Funding for this project was provided by Westco Fertilizers, Ltd., International Plant Nutrition Institute, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Matching Investment Initiative program and the Metals in the Human Environment Research Network, supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Technical assistance from Dick Purveen, Mike Svistovski, Ray Smith, David Bancur, Josh Price, and Darwin Leach was greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Grant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Don Flaten
    • 2
  • Mario Tenuta
    • 2
  • Sukhdev Malhi
    • 3
  • Wole Akinremi
    • 2
  1. 1.Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaBrandonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaMelfortCanada

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