ABSTRACT: Soil pH may influence speciation and extractability of Pb, depending on type of vegetation in urban soil environments. We investigated the relationship between soil pH and Pb extractability at forest and turf grass sites in Baltimore, Maryland. Our two hypotheses were: (1) due to lower pH values in forest soils, more Pb will be in exchangeable forms in forested than in turfgrass soils and (2) due to the greater lability of exchangeable Pb in equilibrium with soil solution in forest soils, concentrations of this form will increase with depth more so than in the turfgrass soils, as related to organic matter content and pH. Soil samples were collected from three forested and three turfgrass sites to depths of 20 cm. Lead forms were determined using a sequential extraction technique. Soils under turfgrass and forest vegetation differed in the extractability of soil Pb (P < 0.01) for the Mn(III, IV)- and Fe(III)(hydr) oxide fraction. A greater Pb concentration was bound to this fraction under turfgrass (211 mg kg(-1), 69% of total Pb) than forested soils (67 mg kg(-1), 61% of total Pb), perhaps due to soil pH differences of 5.9 and 5.0, respectively. In the forested soils, as depth increased, the ratio of exchangeable-to-total Pb increased and the ratio of organically bound Pb-to-total Pb decreased. The results suggest changes in pH and organic matter content with depth affect the extractability of Pb, and these soil properties are affected differentially by grass versus tree vegetation in the urban soils investigated.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 12/2007; 146(1-3):1-17. · 1.40 Impact Factor