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Ecological Research

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 811–821 | Cite as

Improvement of Ni phytoextraction by Alyssum murale and its rhizosphere microbial activities by applying nitrogen fertilizer

  • Ali KansoEmail author
  • Sabine Azoury
  • Emile Benizri
  • Ahmad Kobaissi
  • Guillaume Echevarria
  • Catherine Sirguey
Special Feature Ultramafic Ecosystems: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Serpentine Ecology

Abstract

Phytoextraction represents an innovative approach in the management of nickel (Ni) rich soils whether natural (ultramafic) or anthropogenic (contaminated sites). However, its success depends both on the production of a high plant biomass and the ability of plants to accumulate metals. The application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer can improve the biological and chemical soil fertility and thus agricultural yields. Moreover, soil microorganisms play a key role by influencing nutrient flows, which are the main limiting factors of plant growth in degraded soils. In this work, we investigated the effects of two levels of both Ni and mineral N soil applications on the microbial activities and Ni phytoextraction efficiency by Alyssum murale growing in a pot experiment during 5 months. Plant growth, nutrients and Ni uptake, soil microbial populations and their enzymatic activities involved in the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon and sulfur (urease, alkaline phosphatase, β-glucosidase and arylsulfatase, respectively) were determined. The results showed that plant dry mass was unsurprisingly not affected when the soil Ni concentration was increased. However, it led to an increase of the amount of Ni extracted per pot. A negative effect of Ni addition was observed on both total bacteria and urease activity, without any effect on other enzymes. On the contrary, N fertilizer played a significant positive role by promoting both plant growth and Ni phytoextraction, partly as a result of the stimulation and flourishing of bacterial populations.

Keywords

Nickel Hyperaccumulator Agromining Bacterial community Microbial enzymatic activities 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We express our deep appreciation to the research grant programs of the Lebanese University and the Lebanese Council for Scientific Research, which provided funding for this project. We are also thankful to the French National Research Agency for their support through the national Investissements d’avenir program, reference ANR-10-LABX-21-LABEX RESSOURCES21 and through the ANR-14-CE04-0005 project Agromine. Finally, we are grateful to the technical team of Laboratoire Sols et Environnement and PRASE—Lebanese University for their help and support.

Supplementary material

11284_2018_1630_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (374 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 374 kb)

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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Faculty of SciencesLebanese UniversityBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Laboratoire Sols et EnvironnementUniversité de Lorraine, INRANancyFrance

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