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Proper land use for heavy metal-polluted soil based on enzyme activity analysis around a Pb-Zn mine in Feng County, China

Fang, Linchuan, Liu, Yuqing, Tian, Haixia, Chen, Hansong, Wang, Yunqiang, Huang, Min
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.36 pp. 28152-28164
agricultural land, alkaline phosphatase, cadmium, catalase, clay fraction, electrical conductivity, enzyme activity, grasslands, heavy metals, land use, lead, nitrogen, phosphorus, pollutants, proteinases, risk, soil enzymes, soil pollution, urease, woodlands, zinc, China
Enzymes in the soil are useful for assessing heavy metal soil pollution. We analyzed the activity of a number of enzymes, including urease, protease, catalase, and alkaline phosphatase, in three types of land (farmland, woodland, and grassland) to evaluate soil pollution by heavy metals (Pb, Zn, and Cd). Our results showed that the tested soil was polluted by a combination of Pb, Zn, and Cd, but the primary pollutant was Cd. An ecological dose analysis demonstrated that urease was the most sensitive enzyme to Pb and Cd in the farmland, and catalase and phosphatase were the most sensitive enzymes to Pb, Zn, and Cd in the woodland and grassland. The ecological risk of Cd (E Cd) was the smallest in all three types of land, suggesting that Cd was the major metal inhibiting enzyme activity. Electrical conductivity (EC) was shown to be a negative regulator, while nitrogen, phosphorus, and clay contents were positive regulators of soil enzyme activity. The total enzyme index (TEI) inhibition rates in the woodland were 22.2 and 38.6% under moderate and heavy pollution, respectively, which were lower than those of the other two types of land. Therefore, woodlands might be the optimum land use choice in relieving heavy metal pollution. Taken together, this study identified the key metal pollutant inhibiting soil enzyme activity and suitable land use patterns around typical metal mine. These results provide possible improvement strategies to the phytomanagement of metal-contaminated land around world.