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Chromium uptake by lettuce as affected by the application of organic matter and Cr(VI)-irrigation water: Implications to the land use and water management

Raptis, Stavros, Gasparatos, Dionisios, Economou-Eliopoulos, Maria, Petridis, Anastasios
Chemosphere 2018 v.210 pp. 597-606
Lactuca sativa, bioaccumulation, chromium, cost effectiveness, crops, ecosystems, food chain, food production, greenhouse experimentation, groundwater contamination, humic acids, irrigation, irrigation water, land use, lettuce, lignite, organic carbon, organic fertilizers, oxidation, polluted soils, risk, roots, sandy loam soils, shoots, soil quality, toxicity, water management
Toxic chromium [(Cr(VI)] in food chain has created an alarming situation for human life and ecosystems. The present study through a greenhouse pot experiment aims to (a) investigate the ability of organic matter in reducing Cr uptake by lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) from a sandy loam soil irrigating with Cr(VI)-water, (b) to provide a way for the restriction of Cr transfer from contaminated soils and irrigation water to plants/crops and (c) to contribute to the better management of soil (land) and water use, without reduction of the agricultural production.Since soil and groundwater contamination by Cr is a potential risk in a worldwide scale, due to industrial activities and/or natural processes, organic carbon may play a key role in the mobility of added Cr(VI) to soil via irrigation water, in a significant way. The cultivation of lettuce, using organic matter in the form of leonardite (10 and 30 wt%) and Cr(VI)-irrigation water (100, 200 and 300 mgL−1), showed that the uptake of Cr in both shoots and roots increased with increasing concentration of Cr in the irrigation water. The highest Cr values in shoots (average = 10 mg/kg) and in roots (average = 28 mg/kg) were recorded in those plants cultivated in soil after the addition of Cr(VI)- water without organic matter, whereas the lowest Cr values in shoots (average = 0.44 mg/kg) and in roots (average = 0.7 mg/kg) were recorded in those plants cultivated in soil with addition of 30 wt% organic matter.The used leonardite as organic matter that is an oxidized form of lignite, due to its high content of humic acid is considered to be a useful organic fertilizer that provides possibilities for combining food production with soil protection. Therefore, the application of the natural organic material leonardite, as a land management technique, seems to be a cost-effective method consistent to related protocols for the protection of the soil quality.