Concentration and chemical distribution of metals and arsenic under different typical Mediterranean cropping systems

  • María GabarrónEmail author
  • Angel Faz
  • Silvia Martínez-Martínez
  • Jose A. Acosta
Original Paper


Soil under an intensive agriculture production could result in metal pollution if bad management practices are carried out. The aims of this study were to evaluate the influence of cropping systems on soil metal(loid)s accumulation and speciation and to identify metal sources for each cropping system. To achieve these objectives, 40 soil samples from cereal, fruit, citrus and horticultural cropping areas and 15 samples from non-disturbed areas were collected. pH, salinity, particle size distribution, organic carbon and carbonate contents were analysed. In addition, total, DTPA-extractable and water-soluble Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn and As concentrations and their chemical speciation were determined. Results showed an enrichment of Pb in cereal and horticultural soils, of Zn in fruit and horticultural soils and of Cu and Cd in citrus soils. The most available metals were Pb and Cd which was due to their ability to bind to carbonate and reducible phases of soils. The PCA suggested an anthropogenic origin of Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn in most of the cropping systems; this origin was related to both agriculture management practices and other anthropic actions, such as traffic. Therefore, changes in crop managements are necessary for a sustainable agriculture in the studied crop systems.


Chemical speciation Metals Multivariate analysis Crop Soil 



The financial support to conduct this study was provided by the Fundación Séneca of Comunidad Autónoma de Murcia-Spain (15380/PI/10).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Gabarrón
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angel Faz
    • 1
  • Silvia Martínez-Martínez
    • 1
  • Jose A. Acosta
    • 1
  1. 1.Sustainable Use, Management and Reclamation of Soil and Water Research GroupUniversidad Politécnica de CartagenaCartagenaSpain

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