Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/1759
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Type: Journal article
Title: Adaptation of soil biological nitrification to heavy metals
Author: Rusk, J.
Hamon, R.
Stevens, D.
McLaughlin, M.
Citation: Environmental Science & Technology, 2004; 38(11):3092-3097
Publisher: Amer Chemical Soc
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0013-936X
1520-5851
Statement of
Responsibility: 
James A. Rusk, Rebecca E. Hamon, Daryl P. Stevens and Mike J. McLaughlin
Abstract: The adaptive response of soil biological nitrification to Zn and Pb was assessed using an in situ method we have developed. The method is based on reinoculating a sterilized metal contaminated soil with the same soil that is either uncontaminated or has been incubated with metal. This approach excludes the potentially confounding effects of metal aging reactions in soils. We found added Zn concentrations which gave rise to a decrease in nitrification to 50% that of the uncontaminated soil (i.e. EC50) of 210 mg/kg for communities not previously exposed to Zn and 850 mg/kg for communities exposed to Zn for 17 months, indicating that significant adaptation of the community to Zn had occurred. Similarly, this protocol was able to demonstrate adaptation of soil biological nitrification to Pb, with EC50 values of 1960 and 3150 mg/kg for the unexposed and exposed treatments, respectively. Exposure of unadapted and adapted microbial communities to a combination of Zn and Cd showed that the presence of Cd did not lead to greater toxicity in either community. Adapted communities were not more sensitive to decreases in soil pH than unadapted communities. Prior exposure to Zn was found to confer significantly greater tolerance of the community to Pb. Prior exposure to Pb similarly conferred significantly greater tolerance of the community to Zn. Implications of the adaptive capacity of soil microbes to the development of critical threshold values for heavy metals in soil based on ecotoxicity assessments are discussed.
Keywords: Bacteria; Cadmium; Lead; Zinc; Nitrogen; Soil Pollutants; Risk Assessment; Soil Microbiology; Population Dynamics; Adaptation, Physiological
Description: Publication Date (Web): April 28, 2004
Rights: Copyright © 2004 American Chemical Society
RMID: 0020040519
DOI: 10.1021/es035278g
Published version: http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/esthag/2004/38/i11/abs/es035278g.html
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute publications

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