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Effect of Cadmium on Microbial Activity and a Ryegrass Crop in Two Semiarid Soils

AuthorsMoreno, J. L. CSIC ORCID; Marín, Antonio; Hernández Fernández, María Teresa; García Izquierdo, Carlos
KeywordsSoil microbial activity
Ecological dose
Cadmium toxicity
Soil pollution
Issue DateMay-2006
CitationEnvironmental Management 37(5): 626-633 (2006)
AbstractSoil pollution with Cd is an environmental problem common in the world, and it is necessary to establish what Cd concentrations in soil could be dangerous to its fertility from toxicity effects and the risk of transference of this element to plants and other organisms of the food chain. In this study, we assessed Cd toxicity on soil microorganisms and plants in two semiarid soils (uncultivated and cultivated). Soil ATP content, dehydrogenase activity, and plant growth were measured in the two soils spiked with concentrations ranging from 3 to 8000 mg Cd/kg soil and incubated for 3 h, 20 days, and 60 days. The Cd concentrations that produced 5%; 10%;, and 50%; inhibition of each of the two soil microbiological parameter studied (ecological dose, ED, values) were calculated using two different mathematical models. Also, the effect of Cd concentration on plant growth of ryegrass (Lolium perenne, L.) was studied in the two soils. The Cd ED values calculated for soil dehydrogenase activity and ATP content were higher in the agricultural soils than in the bare soil. For ATP inhibition, higher ED values were calculated than for dehydrogenase activity inhibition. The average yields of ryegrass were reduced from 5.03 to 3.56 g in abandoned soil and from 4.21 to 1.15 g in agricultural soil with increasing concentrations of Cd in the soil. Plant growth was totally inhibited in abandoned and agricultural soils at Cd concentrations above 2000 and 5000 mg/kg soil, respectively. There was a positive correlation between the concentration of Cd in the plants and the total or DTPA-extractable concentrations of Cd in the soil.
Description8 pages, 5 tables, 1 figure.
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