Changes in Trace Metal Species and Other Components of the Rhizosphere During Growth of Radish

R. E. Hamon, S. E. Lorenz, Peter Engelund Holm, Thomas Højlund Christensen, S. P. McGrath

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Changes in the properties of soil solution in the rhizosphere of developing radish plants were investigated. Variations in these properties were expected to affect the distribution and speciation of metals in the soil and soil solution. Applications of essential nutrients were linked to plant transpiration rates and prevented excess addition of nutrient ions, so that subtle changes in soil solution composition would not be obscured. Soil solution pH, the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the concentrations of major and trace elements in solution were found to vary over time. Strict control of fertilizer additions led to the maintenance of a relatively low ionic strength in the soil solution, and under such conditions trace metal solubility appeared to be highly influenced by the concentration of DOC. A chemical speciation analysis was performed which showed that, while dissolved Cd and Zn were largely uncomplexed in unplanted soil, Cd and Zn in the rhizosphere existed mainly as complexed forms. It is hypothesized that this is partly a result of Ca-metal-ligand equilibrium in solution, with higher Ca concentrations in unplanted soil leading to more of the Cd and Zn in solution existing in the uncomplexed state. Changes in the concentrations of uncomplexed Cd and Zn with time gave the best correlations with changes in plant uptake of these metals over time, supporting the hypothesis that plants mainly absorb the free metal ion from soil solution.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)749-756
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

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