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Additive effects of copper and zinc on cadmium toxicity on phosphatase activities and ATP content of soil as estimated by the ecological dose (ED50)

Renella, G., Ortigoza, A.L.R., Landi, L., Nannipien, P.
Soil biology & biochemistry 2003 v.35 no.9 pp. 1203-1210
acid phosphatase, additive effect, adenosine triphosphate, adsorption, alkaline phosphatase, alkaline soils, ammonium nitrate, cadmium, copper, enzyme activity, forest soils, heavy metals, models, polluted soils, solubility, toxicity, zinc
The ecological dose (ED(50)) of Cd on alkaline and acid phosphatase activity and the ATP content of three contrasting forest soils was measured with or without Cu and Zn to assess the additive toxic effects of these two metals. Soils polluted with Cu and/or Zn were treated with increasing Cd concentrations to give the following metal combinations: Cd, Cd+Cu, Cd+Zn and Cd+Cu+Zn. Alkaline and acid phosphatase activities and ATP content of the three soils were analysed 4 h, 7 and 28 days after the metal additions. The ED(50) values were obtained by interpolating the enzyme activities or ATP data with a kinetic model and the goodness of fit was satisfactory. Generally, the ED(50) values of both acid and alkaline phosphatase activities for Cd were lower (higher toxicity) with than without Cu and Zn and the effect of Cu and Zn was particularly adverse when these two metals were both added to soils. The alkaline phosphatase was more sensitive in the acid and neutral soil whereas the acid phosphatase was more sensitive in the alkaline soil. Both phosphatase activities and the ATP content were more sensitive in the sandy than in the finer textured soils. The ATP content was less sensitive to the additive effects. Increasing toxicity was observed during the incubation. Analysis of 1 M NH(4)NO(3-)extractable Cd, Cu and Zn revealed that Cd competed with Zn for the adsorption sites but not with Cu. However, the lower ED(50) values for Cd of the two phosphatase activities and of the ATP content in the presence of heavy metal combinations could be not explained by the heavy metal solubility data. It is concluded that the ED(50) may be a sensitive tool for assessing additve toxic effects to soil biochemical parameters.