Relationships between soil properties and toxicity of copper and nickel to bok choy and tomato in Chinese soils

National Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Effects Long-term Monitoring Network, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (Impact Factor: 3.23). 10/2013; 32(10). DOI: 10.1002/etc.2312
Source: PubMed


The toxicity of copper (Cu) and nickel (Ni) to bok choy and tomato shoot growth was investigated in a wide range of Chinese soils with and without leaching with artificial rainwater. The results showed that the variations of Ni toxicity induced by soil properties were wider than that of Cu toxicity to both tomato and bok choy plant growth. Leaching generally decreased the toxicity of Cu and Ni added to soils, which also depended on soils, metals and test plant species. Soil factors controlling metal phytotoxicity were found to be soil pH and soil organic carbon content for Cu, and soil pH for Ni. It was also found that soil pH had stronger effects on Ni toxicity, compared to Cu toxicity. Predictive toxicity models based on these soil factors were developed. These toxicity models for Cu and Ni toxicity to tomato plant growth were validated using an independent dataset using European soils. These models could be applied to predict the Cu and Ni phytotoxicity in not only Chinese, but also European soils. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC.

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    ABSTRACT: Considerable information on copper (Cu) ecotoxicity as affected by biological species and abiotic properties of soils has been collected from the last decade in the present study. The information on bioavailability/ecotoxicity, species sensitivity and differences in laboratory and field ecotoxicity of Cu in different soils was collated and integrated to derive soil ecological criteria for Cu in Chinese soils, which were expressed as predicted no effect concentrations (PNEC). First, all ecotoxicity data of Cu from bioassays based on Chinese soils were collected and screened with given criteria to compile a database. Second, the compiled data were corrected with leaching and aging factors to minimize the differences between laboratory and field conditions. Before Cu ecotoxicity data were entered into a species sensitivity distribution (SSD), they were normalized with Cu ecotoxicity predictive models to modify the effects of soil properties on Cu ecotoxicity. The PNEC value was set equal to the hazardous concentration for x% of the species (HCx), which could be calculated from the SSD curves, without an additional assessment factor. Finally, predictive models for HCx based on soil properties were developed. The soil properties had a significant effect on the magnitude of HCx, with HC5 varying from 13.1 mg/kg in acidic soils to 51.9 mg/kg in alkaline non-calcareous soils. The two-factor predictive models based on soil pH and cation exchange capacity could predict HCx with determination coefficients (R2) of 0.82-0.91. The three-factor predictive models - that took into account the effect of soil organic carbon - were more accurate than two-factor models, with R2 of 0.85-0.99. The predictive models obtained here could be used to calculate soil-specific criteria. All results obtained here could provide a scientific basis for revision of current Chinese soil environmental quality standards, and the approach adopted in this study could be used as a pragmatic framework for developing soil ecological criteria for other trace elements in soils.
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