The recent addition of trivalent metals to soil and their subsequent movement within the biosphere are of concern. For this reason, the sorption of chromium (Cr), yttrium (Y), rhodium (Rh), lanthanum (La), praseodymium (Pr) and gadolinium (Gd) in two contrasting acid soils has been determined. Except for Rh, the sorption of the other trivalent metals conformed well to the Langmuir equation with derived sorption parameters similar for all the trivalent species tested. Calculation of the buffer powers indicated that under both small (0.01 mmol kg(-1)) and large (1 mmol kg(-1)) trivalent metal soil loadings > 99.5% of the metals will be associated with the exchange phase with small quantities present in the bulk soil solution (<0.5%). It seems that the slight availability of metals within the bulk soil solution will slow the rate of trivalent metal bioremediation of contaminated sites.