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Chemical characterization and phyto-toxicity assessment of peri-urban soils using seed germination and root elongation tests

AuthorsYou, Rui; Domínguez, Carmen ; Matamoros, Víctor ; Bayona, Josep M.; Díez, Sergi
KeywordsTrace elements
Peri-urban soil
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Contaminants of emerging concern
Seed germination rate
Root elongation
Issue Date21-Oct-2019
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research (2019)
AbstractThe peri-urban soil is exposed to pollutants because of its proximity to the city, which may influence the quality of agricultural products. In this study, the occurrence of 16 trace elements (TEs), 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 33 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) was analyzed in two soil sites of the peri-urban area of Barcelona (Spain) (S2 and S3) and a pristine site (S1). Levels of Pb (S2 164 and S3 150 mg kg−1) are around 2.5 times higher than the guideline values. Values for Cu (178 mg kg−1) in S2 are 1.8-fold higher, whereas for Zn, levels are slightly above the threshold in S2 (208 mg kg−1) and S3 (217 mg kg−1). The total concentrations of PAHs are significantly below the limits: 24 ng g−1 dw (S1), 38 ng g−1 dw (S2), 49 ng g−1 dw (S3), whereas only some CECs are detected with low concentrations. We also developed a simple and rapid method to assess soil pollution. Here, we use two plant growth indexes (seed germination rate and root elongation at the initial stage) of three seeds (lettuce, tomato, and cauliflower) to assess soil chemical contamination on agriculture. In the peri-urban soil, the concentration of Pb was 2.5 times higher than the guideline values, whereas for Cu and Zn, values were slightly above their limits, while only few PAHs and CECs were detected. Results for principal component analysis suggest that root elongation is a more sensitive measurement endpoint than germination rate, especially for lettuce. The germination rate of tomato relied on the nitrate in the soil and decreased sharply in the site with pollution of Cu and As. Under the specific conditions of this study, cauliflower should not be recommended to assess environmental pollution due to its low sensitivity to pollutants. In conclusion, this is a low-cost, simple, and rapid method for evaluating the effects of chemical pollution of agriculture soils on seed growth.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-06574-0
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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