Seeking for an optimal strategy to avoid arsenic and cadmium over-accumulation in crops: soil management vs cultivar selection in a case study with maize
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Soil management and cultivar selection are two strategies to reduce the accumulation risk of heavy metals in crops. However, it is still an open question which of these two strategies is more efficient for the safe utilization of contaminated soil. In this study, the available bio-concentration factors (aBCF) of arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) among 39 maize cultivars were determined through a field experiment. The effect of soil management was mimicked by choosing diverse sampling sites having different soil available contents of As and Cd. The aBCF of As and Cd in grain ranged from 0.02 to 0.13 and 1.17 to 42.2, respectively. The accumulation ability of As and Cd was classified among different maize cultivars. Soil pH and total As controlled the level of available As in soils, while soil pH dominated available Cd in soil. A soil pH of 6.5 was recommended to simultaneously minimize soil available As and Cd by managing soil conditions. The quantitative effects of cultivar and soil management on grain As and Cd were expressed as Q [Grain As] = 0.746Q [Cultivar]-0.126Q [pH]+0.276Q [As available] (R 2 = 0.648, P = 1.00 × 10 −37) and Q [Grain Cd] = 0.913Q [Cultivar]-0.192Q [pH]+0.071Q [SOC] (R 2 = 0.782, P = 1.00 × 10 −37), respectively. Cultivar selection contributed stronger than soil management to decrease the As and Cd levels in maize grains. A feasible method to seek for a more efficient strategy was proposed for the safe utilization of contaminated soil.