Immobilization and phytoavailability of cadmium in variable charge soils. II. Effect of lime addition

N. S. Bolan, D. C. Adriano, P. A. Mani, A. Duraisamy

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200 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of pH-increases due to Ca(OH)2 and KOH addition on the adsorption of cadmium (Cd) was examined in two soils which varied in their variable-charge components. The effect of Ca(OH)2 on immobilization and phytoavailability of Cd from one of the soils, treated with various levels of Cd (0-10 mg Cd kg-1 soil), was further evaluated using mustard (Brassica juncea L.) plants. Cadmium immobilization in soil was evaluated by a chemical fractionation scheme. The addition of Ca(OH)2 and KOH increased the soil pH, thereby increasing the adsorption of Cd, the effect being more pronounced in the soil dominated by variable charge components. There was a greater increase in Cd2+ adsorption in the KOH-treated than the Ca(OH)2-treated soil, which is attributed to the greater competition of Ca2+ for adsorption. Increasing addition of Cd enhanced Cd concentration in plants, resulting in decreased plant growth (i.e., phytotoxicity). Although addition of Ca(OH)2 effectively reduced Cd phytotoxicity, Cd uptake increased at the highest level, probably due to decreased Cd2+ adsorption resulting from increased Ca2+ competition. There was a significant inverse relationship between dry matter yield and Cd concentration in soil solution. Addition of Ca(OH)2 decreased the concentration of the soluble + exchangeable Cd fraction but increased the concentration of inorganic-bound Cd fractions in soil. Since there was no direct evidence for CdCO3 or Cd(OH)2 precipitation in the variable charge soil used for the plant growth experiment, alleviation of phytotoxicity can be attributed primarily to immobilization of Cd by enhanced pH-induced increases in negative charge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


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