Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Metal availability, soil nutrient, and enzyme activity in response to application of organic amendments in Cd-contaminated soil


The study investigated the effects of organic amendments: green tea amendment (GTA) and oil cake amendment (OCA) on Cd bioavailability, soil nutrients, and soil enzyme activity in Cd-contaminated soil. The amendments were added to the soil at the doses of 1, 3, and 5% and were incubated for 45 days. Then, pakchoi cabbage was planted to test the remediation effect of the above two organic amendments. The diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable Cd in GTA and OCA treatments was reduced by 14.69–27.51 and 13.75–68.77%, respectively, compared to no amendment-applied treatment. The application of GTA and OCA notably decreased the proportion of exchangeable fraction of Cd, but increased the percentage of oxide and organic-bound fraction of Cd, thereby suppressing the uptake by pakchoi cabbage. Cd concentration of aboveground parts decreased by 8.21–18.05 and 7.77–35.89% in GTA and OCA treatments, respectively. Relative to the no amendment-applied treatment, both GTA and OCA had enhanced soil nutrients and enzyme activities largely. Redundancy analysis showed that organic matter, total P, available N, and DTPA-extractable Cd significantly affected the enzyme activities. Furthermore, the application of OCA at the dose of 5% was more effective in reducing bioavailable Cd, enhancing soil available nutrients and urease and catalase activities in contaminated soil. These results indicated that oil cake should be used to immobilize metal and improve fertility and quality of Cd-contaminated soil.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Abujabhah IS, Bound SA, Doyle R, Bowman JP (2016) Effects of biochar and compost amendments on soil physico-chemical properties and the total community within a temperate agricultural soil. Appl Soil Ecol 98:243–253

  2. Aparna K, Pasha MA, Rao DLN, Krishnaraj PU (2014) Organic amendments as ecosystem engineers: microbial, biochemical and genomic evidence of soil health improvement in a tropical arid zone field site. Ecol Eng 71:268–277

  3. Arao T, Ishikawa S, Murakami M, Abe K, Maejima Y, Makino T (2010) Heavy metal contamination of agricultural soil and countermeasures in Japan. Paddy Water Environ 8:247–257

  4. Basta N, McGowen S (2004) Evaluation of chemical immobilization treatments for reducing heavy metal transport in a smelter-contaminated soil. Environ Pollut 127:73–82

  5. Beesley L, Moreno-Jiménez E, Gomez-Eyles JL (2010) Effects of biochar and greenwaste compost amendments on mobility, bioavailability and toxicity of inorganic and organic contaminants in a multi-element polluted soil. Environ Pollut 158:2282–2287

  6. Bolan N, Kunhikrishnan A, Thangarajan R, Kumpiene J, Park J, Makino T, Kirkham MB, Scheckel K (2014) Remediation of heavy metal(loid)s contaminated soils-to mobilize or to immobilize? J Hazard Mater 266:141–166

  7. Chen X, Wang J, Shi Y, Zhao MQ, Chi GY (2011) Effects of cadmium on growth and photosynthetic activities in pakchoi and mustard. Bot Stud 52:41–46

  8. Clemente R, Hartley W, Riby P, Dickinson NM, Lepp NW (2010) Trace element mobility in a contaminated soil two years after field-amendment with a greenwaste compost mulch. Environ Pollut 158:1644–1651

  9. Cui YS, Du X, Weng LP, Zhu YG (2008) Effects of rice straw on the speciation of cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) in soils. Geoderma 146:370–377

  10. Debiase G, Montemurro F, Fiore A, Rotolo C, Farrag K, Miccolis A, Brunetti G (2016) Organic amendment and minimum tillage in winter wheat grown in Mediterranean conditions: effects on yield performance, soil fertility and environmental impact. Eur J Agron 75:149–157

  11. Diacono M, Montemurro F (2010) Long-term effects of organic amendments on soil fertility. A review. Agron Sustain Dev 30:401–422

  12. Dong X, Wang C, Li H, Wu M, Liao S, Zhang D, Pan B (2014) The sorption of heavy metals on thermally treated sediments with high organic matter content. Bioresour Technol 160:123–128

  13. Elzahabi M, Yong RN (2001) pH influence on sorption characteristics of heavy metal in the vadose zone. Eng Geol 60:61–68

  14. Fellet G, Marmiroli M, Marchiol L (2014) Elements uptake by metal accumulator species grown on mine tailings amended with three types of biochar. Sci Total Environ 468-469:598–608

  15. Foster EJ, Hansen N, Wallenstein M, Cotrufo MF (2016) Biochar and manure amendments impact soil nutrients and microbial enzymatic activities in a semi-arid irrigated maize cropping system. Agric Ecosyst Environ 233:404–414

  16. Garau G, Castaldi P, Santona L, Deiana P, Melis P (2007) Influence of red mud, zeolite and lime on heavy metal immobilization, culturable heterotrophic microbial populations and enzyme activities in a contaminated soil. Geoderma 142:47–57

  17. Gaskin JW, Steiner C, Harris K, Das KC, Bibens B (2008) Effect of low-temperature pyrolysis conditions on biochar for agricultural use. T Asabe 51:2061–2069

  18. Gruba P, Mulder J (2015) Tree species affect cation exchange capacity (CEC) and cation binding properties of organic matter in acid forest soils. Sci Total Environ 511:655–662

  19. Guan SY (1986) Soil enzyme and its research method. Agriculture Press, Beijing (in Chinese)

  20. Huang D, Xu J, Zeng G, Lai C, Yuan X, Luo X, Wang C, Xu P, Huang C (2015) Influence of exogenous lead pollution on enzyme activities and organic matter degradation in the surface of river sediment. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:11422–11435

  21. Huang D, Liu L, Zeng G, Xu P, Huang C, Deng L, Wang R, Wan J (2017) The effects of rice straw biochar on indigenous microbial community and enzymes activity in heavy metal-contaminated sediment. Chemosphere 174:545–553

  22. Juang KW, Ho PC, Yu CH (2012) Short-term effects of compost amendment on the fractionation of cadmium in soil and cadmium accumulation in rice plants. Environ Sci Pollut Res 19:1696–1708

  23. Kim HS, Kim KR, Kim HJ, Yoon JH, Yang JE, Yong SO, Owens G, Kim KH (2015) Effect of biochar on heavy metal immobilization and uptake by lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in agricultural soil. Environ Earth Sci 74:1249–1259

  24. Kim HS, Seo BH, Bae JS, Kim WI, Owens G, Kim KR (2016) An integrated approach to safer plant production on metal contaminated soils using species selection and chemical immobilization. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 131:89–95

  25. Kotroczó Z, Veres Z, Fekete I, Krakomperger Z, Tóth JA, Lajtha K, Tóthmérész B (2014) Soil enzyme activity in response to long-term organic matter manipulation. Soil Biol Biochem 70:237–243

  26. Li C, Guo J, He Z, Wang J, Xie C (2011) Microbial strains affect the physical and chemical properties when composting canola meal. J Agro Environ Sci 30:389–394 (in Chinese)

  27. Lindsay WL, Norvell WA (1969) Development of a DTPA micronutrient soil test. Soil Sci Soc Am J 42:421–428

  28. Liu L, Chen H, Cai P, Liang W, Huang Q (2009) Immobilization and phytotoxicity of Cd in contaminated soil amended with chicken manure compost. J Hazard Mater 163:563–567

  29. Liu GM, Zhang XC, Wang XP, Shao HB, Yang JS, Wang XP (2017a) Soil enzymes as indicators of saline soil fertility under various soil amendments. Agric Ecosyst Environ 237:274–279

  30. Liu Z, Rong Q, Zhou W, Liang G (2017b) Effects of inorganic and organic amendment on soil chemical properties, enzyme activities, microbial community and soil quality in yellow clayey soil. PLoS One 12:e0172767

  31. Lu RK (2000) Soil analytical methods of agronomic chemical. China Agricultural Science and Technology Press, Beijing (in Chinese)

  32. Lu J (2016) Nitrogen management with high yield and high efficiency for oilseed rape in China. Sci Agric Sin 49:3504–3505 (in Chinese)

  33. Lu KP, Yang X, Gielen G, Bolan N, Ok YS, Niazi NK, Xu S, Yuan GD, Chen X, Zhang XK, Liu D, Song ZL, Liu XY, Wang HL (2017) Effect of bamboo and rice straw biochars on the mobility and redistribution of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) in contaminated soil. J Environ Manage 186(Pt 2):285–292

  34. Makino T, Takano H, Kamiya T, Itou T, Sekiya N, Inahara M, Sakurai Y (2008) Restoration of cadmium-contaminated paddy soils by washing with ferric chloride: Cd extraction mechanism and bench-scale verification. Chemosphere 70:1035–1043

  35. Marques APGC, Rangel AOSS, Castro PML (2009) Remediation of heavy metal contaminated soils: phytoremediation as a potentially promising clean-up technology. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 39:622–654

  36. MEP (Ministry of Environmental Protection of China), MLR (Ministry of Land and Resources of China) (2014) Report on the national general survey of soil contamination. http://www.zhb.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/qt/201404/t20140417_270670.htm#. Accessed 20 June 2017

  37. Mohamed I, Zhang GS, Li ZG, Liu Y, Chen F, Dai K (2015) Ecological restoration of an acidic Cd contaminated soil using bamboo biochar application. Ecol Eng 84:67–76

  38. Mori M, Kotaki K, Gunji F, Kubo N, Kobayashi S, Ito T, Itabashi H (2016) Suppression of cadmium uptake in rice using fermented bark as a soil amendment. Chemosphere 148:487–494

  39. Nasini L, Gigliotti G, Balduccini MA, Federici E, Cenci G, Proietti P (2013) Effect of solid olive-mill waste amendment on soil fertility and olive (Olea europaea L.) tree activity. Agric Ecosyst Environ 164:292–297

  40. Ng IS, Wu X, Yang X, Xie Y, Lu Y, Chen C (2013) Synergistic effect of Trichoderma reesei cellulases on agricultural tea waste for adsorption of heavy metal Cr(VI). Bioresour Technol 145:297–301

  41. Park JH, Lamb D, Paneerselvam P, Choppala G, Bolan N, Chung JW (2011) Role of organic amendments on enhanced bioremediation of heavy metal(loid) contaminated soils. J Hazard Mater 185:549–574

  42. Porter SK, Scheckel KG, Impellitteri CA, Ryan JA (2004) Toxic metals in the environment: thermodynamic considerations for possible immobilization strategies for Pb, Cd, As, and Hg. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 34:495–604

  43. Rodríguez Martín JA, De Arana C, Ramos-Miras JJ, Gil C, Boluda R (2015) Impact of 70 years urban growth associated with heavy metal pollution. Environ Pollut 196:156–163

  44. Shah J, Jan MR, Haq AU, Zeeshan M (2015) Equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic studies for sorption of Ni (II) from aqueous solution using formaldehyde treated waste tea leaves. J Saudi Chem Soc 19:301–310

  45. Sun Y, Sun G, Xu Y, Wang L, Liang X, Lin D (2013) Assessment of sepiolite for immobilization of cadmium-contaminated soils. Geoderma 193–194:149–155

  46. Sun Y, Sun G, Xu Y, Liu W, Liang X, Wang L (2016) Evaluation of the effectiveness of sepiolite, bentonite, and phosphate amendments on the stabilization remediation of cadmium-contaminated soils. J Environ Manag 166:204–210

  47. Tessier A, Campbell PGC, Bisson M (1979) Sequential extraction procedure for the speciation of particulate trace metals. Anal Chem 51:844–851

  48. Tittarelli F, Petruzzelli G, Pezzarossa B, Civilini M, Benedetti A, Sequi P (2007) Quality and agronomic use of compost. Waste Manag 8:119–157

  49. Venegas A, Rigol A, Vidal M (2015) Viability of organic wastes and biochars as amendments for the remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils. Chemosphere 119:190–198

  50. Wasewar KL, Atif M, Prasad B, Mishra IM (2009) Batch adsorption of zinc on tea factory waste. Desalination 244:66–71

  51. Weng CH, Lin YT, Hong DY, Sharma YC, Chen SC, Tripathi K (2014) Effective removal of copper ions from aqueous solution using base treated black tea waste. Ecol Eng 67:127–133

  52. Wu LH, Li Z, Akahane I, Liu L, Han CL, Makino T, Luo YM, Christie P (2012) Effects of organic amendments on Cd, Zn and Cu bioavailability in soil with repeated phytoremediation by Sedum plumbizincicola. Int J Phytoremediation 14:1024–1038

  53. Yang ZQ, Lin CG (1988) Influence of organic matter on cation exchange capacity of light cinnammon soils in Central Shanxi. Acta Pedol Sin 25:49–54 (in Chinese)

  54. Yao Y, Sun Q, Wang C, Wang PF, Ding SM (2015) Evaluation of organic amendment on the effect of cadmium bioavailability in contaminated soils using the DGT technique and traditional methods. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:7959–7968

  55. Zhang XC, Zhang SR, Xu XX, Li T, Gong GS, Jia YX, Li Y, Deng LJ (2010) Tolerance and accumulation characteristics of cadmium in Amaranthus hybridus L. J Hazard Mater 180:303

  56. Zhang H, Zhang X, Li T, Fu H (2014) Variation of cadmium uptake, translocation among rice lines and detecting for potential cadmium-safe cultivars. Environ Earth Sci 71:277–286

  57. Zhang Y, Min Q, Wang W, He L, Zheng J (2016) Impact of household social-economic characteristics on the willingness to grow crops: a case study of jasmine growers in Fuzhou based on conservation of the agricultural heritage system. Chin J Eco-Agric 24:1714–1721 (in Chinese)

  58. Zhang RH, Li ZG, Liu XD, Wang BC, Zhou GL, Huang XX, Lin CF, Wang AH, Brooks M (2017) Immobilization and bioavailability of heavy metals in greenhouse soils amended with rice straw-derived biochar. Ecol Eng 98:183–188

  59. Zhao FJ, Hamon RE, Mclaughlin MJ (2010) Root exudates of the hyperaccumulator Thlaspi caerulescens do not enhance metal mobilization. New Phytol 151:613–620

  60. Zheng S, Wang F, Li X, Wang H, Wan X, Li X (2013) Application of 202Hg dilution technique in assessing species distribution and potential bioavailability of exogenous mercury in different organic fertilizers-applied soils. Acta Sci Circumst 33:3111–3117 (in Chinese)

Download references


The authors wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the manuscript.


This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 21507095), the Sichuan Province Project Education Fund (grant no. 16ZA0036), and the Sichuan Provincial Youth Science and Technology Fund (grant no. 2017JQ0035).

Author information

Correspondence to Zhanbiao Yang.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Zhihong Xu

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yang, Z., Liu, L., Lv, Y. et al. Metal availability, soil nutrient, and enzyme activity in response to application of organic amendments in Cd-contaminated soil. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 2425–2435 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0671-1

Download citation


  • Organic amendment
  • Bioavailability
  • Soil nutrient
  • Enzyme activity
  • Uptake
  • Cadmium