Terrestrial environment

Influence of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) on rhizosphere soil solutionchemistry in long-term contaminated soils: A rhizobox study

Kwon-Rae Kim , Gary Owens , Soon-lK Kwon


Received March 29, 2009,Revised May 25, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 22,2010,Pages 98-105

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This study investigated the influence of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) root exudation on soil solution properties (pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), metal solubility) in the rhizosphere using a rhizobox. Measurement was conducted following the cultivation of Indian mustard in the rhizobox filled four di erent types of heavy metal contaminated soils (two alkaline soils and two acidic soils). The growth of Indian mustard resulted in a significant increase (by 0.6 pH units) in rhizosphere soil solution pH of acidic soils and only a slight increase (< 0.1 pH units) in alkaline soils. Furthermore, the DOC concentration increased by 17–156 mg/L in the rhizosphere regardless of soil type and the extent of contamination, demonstrating the exudation of DOC from root. Ion chromatographic determination showed a marked increase in the total dissolved organic acids (OAs) in rhizosphere. While root exudates were observed in all soils, the amount of DOC and OAs in soil solution varied considerably amongst di erent soils, resulting in significant changes to soil solution metals in the rhizosphere. For example, the soil solution Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations increased in the rhizosphere of alkaline soils compared to bulk soil following plant cultivation. In contrast, the soluble concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn in acidic soils decreased in rhizosphere soil when compared to bulk soils. Besides the influence of pH and DOC on metal solubility, the increase of heavy metal concentration having high stability constant such as Cu and Pb resulted in a release of Cd and Zn from solid phase to liquid phase.

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