Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/39299
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Type: Journal article
Title: Soil properties affecting toxicity of zinc to soil microbial properties in laboratory-spiked and field-contaminated soils
Author: Smolders, E.
Buekers, J.
Oliver, I.
McLaughlin, M.
Citation: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2004; 23(11):2633-2640
Publisher: Setac
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0730-7268
1552-8618
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Erik Smolders, Jurgen Buekers, Ian Oliver and Mike J. McLaughlin
Abstract: The effects of soil properties and zinc (Zn) availability on the toxicity of Zn to soil microbial processes are poorly understood. Three soil microbial processes—potential nitrification rate (PNR), substrate (glucose)-induced respiration (SIR), and a maize residue respiration (MRR)—were measured in 15 European topsoils (pH 3.0–7.5; total Zn 7–191 mg/kg) that were freshly spiked with ZnCl2. The Zn toxicity thresholds of 20 to 50% effective concentrations (EC20s and EC50s) based on total concentrations of Zn in soil varied between 5- and 26-fold among soils, depending on the assay. The Zn toxicity thresholds based on Zn concentrations in soil solution varied at least 10-fold more than corresponding total metal thresholds. Soil pH had no significant effect on soil total Zn toxicity thresholds, whereas significant positive correlations were found between these thresholds and background Zn for the PNR and SIR test (r = 0.74 and 0.71, respectively; log-log correlations). No such trend was found for the MRR test. Soil solution–based thresholds showed highly significant negative correlations with soil pH for all assays that might be explained by competition of H+ for binding sites, as demonstrated for aquatic species. The microbial assays were also applied to soils collected under galvanized pylons (three sites) where concentrations of total Zn were up to 2,100 to 3,700 mg Zn/kg. Correlations between concentrations of total Zn and microbial responses were insignificant at all sites even though spiking reference samples to equivalent concentrations reduced microbial activities up to more than 10-fold. Differences in response between spiked and field soils are partly but not completely attributed to the large differences in concentrations of Zn in soil solution. We conclude that soil pH has no significant effect on Zn toxicity to soil microbial processes in laboratory-spiked soils, and we suggest that community tolerance takes place at both background and elevated Zn concentrations in soil.
Keywords: Zinc; microbial; soil solution; nitrification; respiration
Description: Copyright © 2004 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
RMID: 0020071886
DOI: 10.1897/04-27
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute publications

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