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

Use of soil amendments to reduce cadmium accumulation in rice by changing Cd distribution in soil aggregates

  • 246 Accesses

  • 2 Citations


The objectives of this study were to investigate the response of cadmium (Cd) distribution and stability in soil aggregates as affected by applying different amendments and to understand the relationship between changes in soil aggregates and alleviation of Cd phytotoxicity to rice after amendment application. In the present study, rice (Oryza sativa L.) was cultivated on a Cd-polluted soil. Five soil amendments were applied, which are as follows: rice husk biochar (BC), Fe-added rice husk biochar (Fe-BC), attapulgite-based mixture (AM), zeolite-based mixture (ZM), and cow manure-based mixture (MM). The effect on Cd redistribution in soil and Cd accumulation in rice plant was evaluated. The results showed that the five amendments applied at the rate of 3% (w/w) significantly increased soil pH and decreased Cd mobility in soil and Cd accumulation in rice plants. The reduction rate of Cd content in rice grains ranged from 41 to 62% after amendment application. The remediation efficiency of the different amendments for decreasing Cd accumulation in rice tissues followed the order of Fe-BC > MM > BC > ZM > AM. Adding amendments promoted the formation of large aggregates (0.2–2.0 mm) with more mass loading of Cd and enhanced aggregate stability. Comparatively, Fe-BC was more effective than others for remediation of acid Cd-polluted paddy soil, as a significantly decreased Cd concentration in rice grain after its application was observed. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis revealed that DTPA-extractable Cd in small aggregates was the main factor affecting Cd accumulation in rice grain; soil pH directly affected aggregate stability; and aggregate stability was closely related to Cd availability in different size soil particles. These results indicated that the applied amendments were effective in reducing Cd bioavailability, most likely through raising the soil pH, improving aggregate stability, and re-distributing Cd from smaller soil aggregates to larger ones.

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

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  1. Antoniadis V, Alloway BJ (2002) The role of dissolved organic carbon in the mobility of Cd, Ni and Zn in sewage sludge-amended soils. Environ Pollut 117(3):515–521

  2. Chang MY, Juang RS (2004) Adsorption of tannic acid, humic acid, and dyes from water using the composite of chitosan and activated clay. J Colloid Interface Sci 278(1):18–25

  3. Cui H, Ma K, Fan Y, Peng XH, Mao JD, Zhou DM, Zhang ZB, Zhou J (2016) Stability and heavy metal distribution of soil aggregates affected by application of apatite, lime, and charcoal. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23(11):1–10

  4. Dermont G, Bergeron M, Mercier G, Richer-Laflèche M (2008) Soil washing for metal removal: a review of physical/chemical technologies and field applications. J Hazard Mater 152(1):1–31

  5. Diagboya PN, Olu-Owolabi BI, Adebowale KO (2015) Effects of time, soil organic matter, and iron oxides on the relative retention and redistribution of lead, cadmium, and copper on soils. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:10331–10339

  6. Dou XM, Li R, Zhao B, Liang WY (2010) Arsenate removal from water by zerovalent iron/activated carbon galvanic couples. J Hazard Mater 182:108–114

  7. Egli M, Sartori G, Mirabella A, Giaccai D, Favilli F, Scherrer D, Krebs R, Delbos E (2009) The influence of weathering and organic matter on heavy metals lability in silicatic, alpine soils. Sci Total Environ 408:931–946

  8. Fan JL, Ding WX, Chen ZM, Ziadi N (2012) Thirty-year amendment of horse manure and chemical fertilizer on the availability of micronutrients at the aggregate scale in black soil. Environ Sci Pollut Res 19:2745–2754

  9. Fernandez MA, Soulages OE, Acebal SG, Rueda EH, Sanchez RMT (2015) Sorption of Zn(II) and Cu(II) by four Argentinean soils as affected by pH, oxides, organic matter and clay content. Environ Earth Sci 74:4201–4214

  10. Fox A, Ikoyi I, Torres-Sallan G, Lanigan G, Schmalenberger A, Wakelin S, Creamer R (2018) The influence of aggregate size fraction and horizon position on microbial community composition. Appl Soil Ecol 127:19–29

  11. Gilmour CC, Riedel GS, Riedel G, Kwon S, Landis R, Brown SS, Menzie CA, Ghosh U (2013) Activated carbon mitigates mercury and methylmercury bioavailability in contaminated sediments. Environ Sci Technol 47(22):13001–13010

  12. Guibaud G, Bordas F, Saaid A, D’abzac P, Hullebusch EV (2008) Effect of pH on cadmium and lead binding by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) extracted from environmental bacterial strains. Colloids Surf B 63(1):48–54

  13. Guo F, Ding C, Zhou Z, Huang G, Wang X (2017) Effects of combined amendments on crop yield and cadmium uptake in two cadmium contaminated soils under rice-wheat rotation. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 148:303–310

  14. Guo F, Ding C, Zhou Z, Huang G, Wang X (2018) Stability of immobilization remediation of several amendments on cadmium contaminated soils as affected by simulated soil acidification. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 161:164–172

  15. Han XQ, Xiao XY, Guo ZH, Xie YH, Zhu HW, Peng C, Liang YQ (2018) Release of cadmium in contaminated paddy soil amended with NPK fertilizer and lime under water management. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 159:38–45

  16. He H, Tam N, Yao A, Qiu R, Li WC, Ye Z (2017) Growth and Cd uptake by rice (Oryza sativa) in acidic and Cd-contaminated paddy soils amended with steel slag. Chemosphere 189:247–254

  17. Hosseini F, Mosaddeghi MR, Hajabbasi MA, Sabzalian MR (2015) Influence of tall fescue endophyte infection on structural stability as quantified by high energy moisture characteristic in a range of soils. Geoderma 249-250:87–99

  18. Houben D, Evrard L, Sonnet P (2013) Mobility, bioavailability and pH-dependent leaching of cadmium, zinc and lead in a contaminated soil amended with biochar. Chemosphere 92(11):1450–1457

  19. Hseu ZY, Su SW, Lai HY, Lai HY, Guo HY, Chen TC, Chen ZS (2010) Remediation techniques and heavy metal uptake by different rice varieties in metal-contaminated soils of Taiwan: new aspects for food safety regulation and sustainable agriculture. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 56(1):31–52

  20. Hu Y, Cheng H, Tao S (2016) The challenges and solutions for cadmium-contaminated rice in China: a critical review. Environ Int 92-93:515–532

  21. Huang B, Li ZW, Huang JQ, Guo L, Nie XD, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Zeng GM (2014) Adsorption characteristics of Cu and Zn onto various size fractions of aggregates from red paddy soil. J Hazard Mater 264:176–183

  22. Ilg K, Wilcke W, Safronov G, Lang F, Fokin A, Kaupenjohann M (2004) Heavy metal distribution in soil aggregates: a comparison of recent and archived aggregates from Russia. Geoderma 123:153–162

  23. Jia J, Yu D, Zhou W, Zhou L, Bao Y, Meng Y, Dai LM (2015) Variations of soil aggregates and soil organic carbon mineralization across forest types on the northern slope of Changbai mountain. Acta Ecol Sin 35(2):1–7

  24. Kabiri V, Raiesi F, Ghazavi MA (2015) Six years of different tillage systems affected aggregate-associated SOM in a semi-arid loam soil from Central Iran. Soil Tillage Res 154:114–125

  25. Kelly C, Benjamin J, Calderón FC, Mikha MM, Rutherford DW, Rostad CE (2017) Incorporation of biochar carbon into stable soil aggregates: the role of clay mineralogy and other soil characteristics. Pedosphere 27(4):694–704

  26. Kumpiene J, Lagerkvist A, Maurice C (2008) Stabilization of As, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn in soil using amendments—a review. Waste Manag 28:215–225

  27. Li LF, Ai SY, Wang YH, Tang MD, Li YC (2016) In situ field-scale remediation of low Cd-contaminated paddy soil using soil amendments. Water Air Soil Pollut 227(9):342–352

  28. Li H, Li X, Xiang L, Zhao HM, Li YW, Cai QY, Zhu L, Mo CH, Wong MH (2017) Phytoremediation of soil co-contaminated with Cd and BDE-209 using hyperaccumulator enhanced by am fungi and surfactant. Sci Total Environ 613-614:447–455

  29. Ljung K, Selinus O, Otabbong E, Berglund M (2006) Metal and arsenic distribution in soil particle sizes relevant to soil ingestion by children. Appl Geochem 21(9):1613–1624

  30. Manna MC, Swarup A, Wanjari RH, Mishra B, Shahi DK (2007) Long-term fertilization, manure and liming effects on soil organic matter and crop yields. Soil Tillage Res 94(2):397–409

  31. Mcbride M, Sauve S, Hendershot W (2010) Solubility control of Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in contaminated soils. Eur J Soil Sci 48:337–346

  32. Ministry of land and resources, Ministry of environmental protection, PRC (2014) National soil pollution surveyed bulletin. Environ Educ 6:8–10

  33. Morrissey J, Guerinot ML (2009) Iron uptake and transport in plants: the good, the bad, and the ionome. Chem Rev 109:4553–4567

  34. Mzu R, Khalid H, Akmal F, Ali S, Rizwan M, Qayyum MF, Iqbal M, Khalid MU, Azhar M (2017) Effect of limestone, lignite and biochar applied alone and combined on cadmium uptake in wheat and rice under rotation in an effluent irrigated field. Environ Pollut 227:560–568

  35. Naidu R, Kookana R, Sumner M, Harter RD, Tiller KG (1997) Cadmium sorption and transport in variable charge soils: a review. J Environ Qual 26(3):602–617

  36. Novák F, Šestauberová M, Hrabal R (2015) Structural features of lignohumic acids. J Mol Struct 1093:179–185

  37. Poucke RV, Ainsworth J, Maeseele M, Ok YS, Meers E, Tack F (2018) Chemical stabilization of Cd-contaminated soil using biochar. Appl Geochem 88:122–130

  38. Pukalchik M, Mercl F, Panova M, Břendová K, Terekhova VA, Tlustoš P (2017) The improvement of multi-contaminated sandy loam soil chemical and biological properties by the biochar, wood ash, and humic substances amendments. Environ Pollut 229:516–524

  39. Qian J, Liu JJ, Wang P, Wang C, Hu J, Li K, Lu BH, Tian X, Guan WY (2018) Effects of riparian land use changes on soil aggregates and organic carbon. Ecol Eng 112:82–88

  40. Qiao JT, Liu TX, Wang XQ, Li FB, Lv YH, Cui JH, Zeng XD, Yuan YZ, Liu CP (2018) Simultaneous alleviation of cadmium and arsenic accumulation in rice by applying zero-valent iron and biochar to contaminated paddy soils. Chemosphere 195:260–271

  41. Rajendran M, Shi LZ, Wu C, Li WC, An WH, Liu ZY, Xue SG (2019) Effect of sulfur and sulfur-iron modified biochar on cadmium availability and transfer in the soil-rice system. Chemosphere 222:314–322

  42. Saqib B, Qaiser H, Muhammad S, Hongqing H (2018) Efficiency and surface characterization of different plant derived biochar for cadmium (Cd) mobility, bioaccessibility and bioavailability to Chinese cabbage in highly contaminated soil. Chemosphere 211:632–639

  43. Silva LCCD, Santos LBOD, Abate G, Cosentino IC, Fantini MCA, Masini JC, Matos JR (2008) Adsorption of Pb2+, Cu2+, and Cd2+, in FDU-1 silica and FDU-1 silica modified with humic acid. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 110(2):250–259

  44. Six J, Bossuyt H, Degryze S, Denef K (2004) A history of research on the link between (micro)aggregates, soil biota, and soil organic matter dynamics. Soil Tillage Res 79(1):7–31

  45. Song B, Zeng GM, Gong JL, Liang J, Xu P, Liu ZF, Zhang Y, Zhang C, Cheng M, Liu Y, Ye SJ, Yi H, Ren XY (2017) Evaluation methods for assessing effectiveness of in situ remediation of soil and sediment contaminated with organic pollutants and heavy metals. Environ Int 105:43–55

  46. Tabaraki R, Ahmady-Asbchin S, Abdi O (2013) Biosorption of Zn(II) from aqueous solutions by Acinetobacter sp. isolated from petroleum spilled soil. J Environ Chem Eng 1(3):604–608

  47. Tariq FS, Samsuri AW, Karam DS, Aris AZ, Jamilu G (2019) Bioavailability and mobility of arsenic, cadmium, and manganese in gold mine tailings amended with rice husk ash and Fe-coated rice husk ash. Environ Monit Assess 191(4):232–244

  48. Tica D, Udovic M, Lestan D (2011) Immobilization of potentially toxic metals using different soil amendments. Chemosphere 85(4):577–583

  49. Uddin MK (2017) A review on the adsorption of heavy metals by clay minerals, with special focus on the past decade. Chem Eng J 308:438–462

  50. Wang L, Tsang DCW, Poon CS (2015) Green remediation and recycling of contaminated sediment by waste incorporated stabilization/solidification. Chemosphere 122:257–264

  51. Wang X, Li X, Ma R, Li Y, Wang W, Huang H, Xu C, An Y (2018) Quadratic discriminant analysis model for assessing the risk of cadmium pollution for paddy fields in a county in China. Environ Pollut 236:366–372

  52. Xiong Z, He F, Zhao D, Barnett MO (2009) Immobilization of mercury in sediment using stabilized iron sulfide nanoparticles. Water Res 43:5171–5179

  53. Xu P, Sun CX, Ye XZ, Xiao WD, Zhang Q, Wang Q (2016) The effect of biochar and crop straws on heavy metal bioavailability and plant accumulation in a Cd and Pb polluted soil. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 132:94–100

  54. Ye X, Li H, Zhang L, Chai R, Tu R, Gao H (2018) Amendment damages the function of continuous flooding in decreasing Cd and Pb uptake by rice in acid paddy soil. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 147:708–714

  55. Yilmaz E, Sönmez M (2017) The role of organic/bio-fertilizer amendment on aggregate stability and organic carbon content in different aggregate scales. Soil Tillage Res 168:118–124

  56. Yin DX, Wang X, Peng B, Tan CY, Ma LQ (2017) Effect of biochar and Fe-biochar on Cd and As mobility and transfer in soil-rice system. Chemosphere 186:928–937

  57. Zeng FR, Ali S, Zhang HT, Ouyang YN, Qiu BY, Wu FB, Zhang GP (2011) The influence of pH and organic matter content in paddy soil on heavy metal availability and their uptake by rice plants. Environ Pollut 159:84–91

  58. Zhang B, Horn R (2001) Mechanisms of aggregate stabilization in ultisols from subtropical China. Geoderma 99(1–2):0–145

  59. Zhao HT, Li XY (2013) Risk assessment of metals in road-deposited sediment along an urban-rural gradient. Environ Pollut 174:297–304

Download references


We thank John Hugh Snyder, PhD, for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript. We are grateful to four anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions on this manuscript. This research was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD0800700 & 2016YFD0800707), the Natural Science Foundation of China (41271490 & 21706278), and the Emergency Research Funds of the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (No. 1610132018106).

Author information

Correspondence to Meng Wang or Shibao Chen.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Responsible editor: Roberto Terzano

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Li, S., Wang, M., Zhao, Z. et al. Use of soil amendments to reduce cadmium accumulation in rice by changing Cd distribution in soil aggregates. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 20929–20938 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-05431-4

Download citation


  • Soil aggregates
  • Amendments
  • Cd
  • Rice
  • Phytotoxicity
  • SEM