DGT estimates cadmium accumulation in wheat and potato from phosphate fertilizer applications

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  • Cadmium is a common impurity in phosphatic fertilizers and may contribute to soil Cd accumulation. Changes in total and bioavailable Cd burdens to agricultural soils and the potential for plant Cd accumulation resulting from fertilizer input was investigated. Three year field studies were conducted using three dose levels of cadmium-rich, commercial, phosphate fertilizers applied at four agricultural sites. Labile Cd concentrations, measured using the passive sampling device Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films (CdDGT), increased with increasing fertilizer application rates. Cd also accumulated in the edible portion of wheat and potato crops grown at the sites, and showed strong positive dose response with fertilizer treatment. Regression models were calculated for each site, year, and for individual crops. Model comparisons indicated that soil physical and chemical parameters in addition to soil Cd fractions, were important determinants of CdDGT. Significant factors contributing to CdDGT concentrations were Cd from fertilizer input (Cd𝒻ₑᵣₜᵢₗᵢ𝓏ₑᵣ), pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and total recoverable Cd (Cdₜₒₜₐₗ). Important factors used to determine Cd concentrations in wheat grain (Cd𝓌ₕₑₐₜ) and in potato (Cdₚₒₜₐₜₒ) were as follows: Cd𝓌ₕₑₐₜ:Cd𝒻ₑᵣₜᵢₗᵢ𝓏ₑᵣ, and CdDGT; and Cdₚₒₜₐₜₒ:Cd𝒻ₑᵣₜᵢₗᵢ𝓏ₑᵣ, CdDGT, % O.M. The effective concentration, CE, calculated from DGT did not correlate well with Cd𝓌ₕₑₐₜ or with Cdₚₒₜₐₜₒ. Direct measurements of CdDGT correlated better with Cd found in edible plant tissue. The modeling approach presented in this study helps to estimate Cd accumulation in plant tissue over multiple years and in distinct agricultural soil systems. Keywords
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  • Pérez, A. L., & Anderson, K. A. (2009). DGT estimates cadmium accumulation in wheat and potato from phosphate fertilizer applications. Science of the Total Environment, 407(18), 5096-5103. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.05.045
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  • 407
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  • 18
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  • This project was made possible through a grant by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Thank you to the NIEHS training grant for student support under Grant # P30 ES00210.
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  • This is an author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher.



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