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Evaluation of Different Extraction Methods for the Assessment of Heavy Metal Bioavailability in Various Soils


The main objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of different methods (heavy metals in pore water (PW), diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT), diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) extraction, and total heavy metals (THM) in soil) for the assessment of heavy metal bioavailability from soils having various properties and heavy metal contents. The effect of soil heavy metal pollution on shoot yield and sulfatase enzyme activity was also studied. Wheat (Triticum aestivum) was grown in different soils from Spain (n = 10) and New Zealand (n = 20) in a constant environment room for 25 days. The bioavailabilities of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn were assessed by comparing the metal contents extracted by the different methods with those found in the roots. The most widely applicable method was DGT, as satisfactory Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn root concentrations were obtained, and it was able to distinguish between low and high Cr values. The analysis of the metal concentrations in PW was effective for the determination of Cr, Ni, and Zn content in root. Copper and Pb root concentrations were satisfactorily assessed by DTPA extraction, but the method was less successful with determining the Ni and Cr contents and suitable just to distinguish between high and low concentrations of Zn. The THM in soil method satisfactorily predicted Cu and Pb root concentrations but could only be used to distinguish between low and high Cr and Zn values. The Cd root concentration was not successfully predicted for any of the used methods. Neither shoot yield nor sulfatase enzyme activity was affected by the metal concentrations.

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