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Effect of Cd stress on the bioavailability of Cd and other mineral nutrition elements in broad bean grown in a loess subsoil amended with municipal sludge compost

Jin, Cheng, Nan, Zhongren, Wang, Houcheng, Li, Xiaolin, Zhou, Jian, Yao, Xun, Jin, Pen
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.8 pp. 7418-7432
Vicia faba, antagonism, bioavailability, biomass, cadmium, composts, copper, faba beans, food safety, heavy metals, leaves, loess, magnesium chloride, nutrients, nutrition, physicochemical properties, plant height, roots, sludge, soil, stems, toxicity, zinc
Municipal sludge compost (MSC) is commonly used as fertilizer or an amendment in barren soils. However, MSC-borne Cd is of great concern in food safety because of its toxicity. Loess subsoil (LS) is barren and lacks nutrients, but it has a strong ability to absorb and stabilize heavy metals. Hence, LS may be amended with MSC and may reduce the bioavailability of Cd. To simulate the dose effect of the accumulated MSC-borne Cd in amended LS, pot experiments were conducted to study the bioavailability of Cd and other mineral nutrition elements in broad bean (Vicia faba L.) under Cd stress. Plant height and dry biomass remarkably increased as the physicochemical properties of LS were significantly improved; however, they were not significantly influenced by the added Cd. The Cd in the plants grown in MSC amended-LS (P2) mainly accumulated in roots (32.12 mg kg⁻¹) and then in stems and leaves (6.00 mg kg⁻¹). Less Cd (0.74 mg kg⁻¹) accumulated in the edible parts, where the Cd concentration was 53% lower than that in the edible parts of plants grown in LS (P1). The decreased Cd concentrations in the P2 beans may be due to the biomass dilution effect. Notably, the Cd concentrations in the beans exceeded the national safety limit value (0.2 mg kg⁻¹) when the Cd treatment levels exceeded 2 mg kg⁻¹ in LS and 6 mg kg⁻¹ in amended LS. The MgCl₂ extraction procedures can be used to assess Cd bioavailability in amended soil-plant systems. The potential antagonism of Zn and Cu against Cd toxicity in the soil-plant system may explain why this plant can tolerate higher Cd concentrations after MSC application.