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Assisted phytoremediation of a co-contaminated soil with biochar amendment: Contaminant removals and bacterial community properties

Zhang, Manyun, Wang, Jun, Bai, Shahla Hosseini, Zhang, Yaling, Teng, Ying, Xu, Zhihong
Geoderma 2019 v.348 pp. 115-123
Bacteroidetes, Medicago sativa, Nitrospirae, agricultural soils, alfalfa, bacterial biomass, bacterial communities, biochar, cadmium, genes, heavy metals, iprodione, phytoaccumulation, planting, polluted soils, ribosomal RNA, soil bacteria
There are growing trends of combined contaminations in agricultural soils, and therefore it is urgently needed to remediate contaminated soils with eco-friendly approaches. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Medicago sativa L. (alfalfa) planting, alone or together with biochar additions, on contaminant removals and bacterial properties in an agricultural soil contaminated by heavy metal and organic fungicide. The treatments in this study included: the control (CK), alfalfa planting (AP), alfalfa planting +1.5% biochar addition (w/w) (AP + 1.5B), alfalfa planting +3.0% biochar addition (AP + 3.0B), and alfalfa planting +6.0% biochar addition (AP + 6.0B). Relative to the alfalfa planting only, extra biochar additions increased alfalfa biomass and heavy metal cadmium (Cd) phytoextraction. The alfalfa planting, alone or together with biochar additions, significantly decreased soil iprodione concentrations. After 90 days of remediation, bacterial 16S rRNA gene abundances of the AP, AP + 1.5B, AP + 3.0B and AP + 6.0B treatments were 1.69, 3.84, 3.34 and 3.13 times as great as that obtained from the CK treatment, respectively. The AP + 1.5B treatment had the highest richness estimators and Shannon diversity index, but the AP + 6.0B treatment had the lowest invsimpson diversity index among the five treatments. The relative abundances of Bacteroidetes and Nitrospirae were enhanced by the alfalfa phytoremediation, alone or together with biochar additions. Our results suggest that the alfalfa has promising potentials in the remediation of co-contaminated soil and in the increases of soil bacterial biomass and community diversity. Simultaneously, biochar is beneficial to enhance Cd phytoextraction, however, biochar addition rate would need to be optimized.