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Copper and zinc bioavailabilities to ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) grown in biosolid treated Chilean soils

Ahumada, Inés, Gudenschwager, Orianne, Carrasco, M. Adriana, Castillo, Gabriela, Ascar, Loreto, Richter, Pablo
Journal of environmental management 2009 v.90 no.8 pp. 2665-2671
soil pollution, biosolids, sewage sludge, soil amendments, copper, zinc, heavy metals, bioavailability, bioaccumulation, Lolium perenne, Trifolium subterraneum, greenhouse experimentation, Chile
The purpose of this study was assessing Cu and Zn availabilities in soils amended with a biosolid through the determination of their sequentially extracted chemical forms and their relationship with the contents of these metals in ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) plant tissues cultivated in a greenhouse using four soils classified as Aquic Xerochrepts and Ultic Haploxeralfs representatives of potential areas for biosolids application in the central zone of Chile. The soils were treated with sewage sludge at a rate of 0 and 30 Mg ha⁻¹. The greenhouse experiment was carried out through a completely randomized block design in a 2 x 4 (biosolid rate x soil) arrangement, considering three repetitions per treatment. The soils used in the greenhouse experiment before and after cultivation, were sequentially extracted with specific reagents and conditions in order to obtain the following fractions: exchangeable, sodium acetate-soluble, soluble in moderately reducing condition, K₄P₂O₇-soluble, soluble in reducing condition, and soluble in strongly acid and oxidizing condition. It was established that Cu and Zn were predominantly found in soils in less available forms, associated to organic matter, oxides and clay minerals. Zinc concentration in ryegrass plants was higher than that found in subterranean clover plants in biosolid-amended soils. Zinc contents in ryegrass shoot and root correlated with the exchangeable, bound-to-carbonate, and bound-to-FeOx metal forms in control soil. Copper and Zn bioavailabilities were estimated through satisfactorily fitted multiple linear regression models, with determination coefficients from 0.77 to 0.99, which showed a positive contribution of the labile metal forms in soils, especially in relation to Zn in both plant species.