Biochar, wood ash and humic substances mitigating trace elements stress in contaminated sandy loam soil: Evidence from an integrative approach

Mariia Pukalchik, Filip Mercl, Vera Terekhova, Pavel Tlustoš

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We conducted a pot experiment with biochar (BC), wood ash (WA), and humic substances (HS) to investigate their effect on As, Zn, Cu, Cd and Pb mobility in soil, as well as enzyme activities involved in C-, N-, and P-cycles, and Eisenia foetida toxicity in multi-contaminated soils. Amendments were dosed to increase еру soil pH from initial 6.0 to ∼6.5 and ∼7.0. Applying amendments has revealed, that WA significantly immobilized Cu, Zn and Pb, BC – Cu and Zn, and HS decreased solely Cu mobility in soil. The partition indices of Zn, Cu, and Pb, quantitatively describing the bioavailable species of elements in soil, were the lowest for WA. Changes in the water-soluble species of metals were more pronounced than in the exchangeable ones for all amendments. An opposite effect was observed on enzyme activity and earthworm toxicity for the WA and carbonaceous amendments. The BC and HS provided favourable soil conditions to dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, urease activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, while WA significantly decreased the activity of all the mentioned enzymes in soil. The results are supported by an enzymes-based weighted mean index, being the highest for BC and HS and the lowest for WA (lower than in the control sample). At the same time, WA was suitable to eliminate the trace elements’ stress to earthworms (biomass endpoints and cocoons production). Our data revealed that each amendment has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of the most suitable amendment therefore should always be made within an integral approach and based on the purpose of remediation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-238
    Number of pages11
    JournalChemosphere
    Volume203
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Keywords

    • Bioassay
    • Earthworms
    • Integral index
    • Remediation
    • Soil enzymes
    • Soil quality

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