The Effects of Tree Species and Site on the Solubility of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in Soils

Authors: Andersen, M.; Raulund-Rasmussen, K.; Strobel, B.; Hansen, H.

Source: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Volume 154, Numbers 1-4, May 2004 , pp. 357-370(14)

Publisher: Springer

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Afforestation of former agricultural land changes soil characteristics such as pH and organic matter content, which may affect heavy metal solubility in the soil. In this study the effects of different tree species on heavy metal solubility were investigated at four 34 years old adjacent stands of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), grand fir (Abies grandis Lindl.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and oak (Quercus robur L.) planted on former agricultural land at four different sites in Denmark. The sites differ in soil characteristics and represent two texture classes (loamy sand and sandy loam). Soil pH and soil organic matter content was measured in the 16 stands and soil solution was isolated by centrifugation from three depths at four different occasions. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), pH in the soil solution and the soil solution concentrations (availability) of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn were determined. Analysis of variance showed that the tree species affects soil pH and organic matter content in the topsoil, but not in the lower horizons. Norway spruce and grand fir acidify more than beech and oak, and the highest amount of accumulated soil organic matter is in the topsoil under Norway spruce. The effects of tree species on soil solution pH and DOC resemble the effect on soil pH and organic matter content. Grand fir enhances the solubility of Cd and Zn in the topsoil with the lower solubility found under beech and oak and Norway spruce enhances the solubility of Cu, Ni and Pb in the top horizons. The lowest solubility of Ni and Pb is found under beech and oak, whereas the lowest Cu concentrations in the soil solution are found under grand fir. After 34 years of afforestation no effects of tree species on the concentrations of heavy metals in the soil solution from the C-horizons were found. The tree species effect on the concentration of Cd, Cu and Ni in the soil solution depends on the soil characteristics with the higher concentrations found in sandy loam soils, whereas no effect of site on the solution concentration was found for Pb and Zn. It was not possible to find a clear correlation between the soil solution concentrations of heavy metals, pH and DOC concentration.

Keywords: afforestation; dissolved organic matter; heavy metals; soil solution; tree species

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: May 1, 2004

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