Implications of rhizospheric heavy metals and nutrients for the growth of alfalfa in sludge amended soil.Chemosphere. 2004 Sep; 56(10):957-65.C
Rhizospheric distribution of nutrients and heavy metals in sludge amended soil was investigated using the rhizobag technique to give an indication of the release of metals from wastewater sludge. DTPA-extractable Zn, Cd, Ni and Mn, and available P, K and NH4+-N in the rhizosphere were markedly depleted when soil was amended with sludge. There was no conspicuous depletion or accumulation of DTPA-extractable Cu in the rhizosphere when the soil was amended with sewage sludge but DTPA-extractable Fe accumulated in the rhizosphere when the soil was amended with increasing amounts of sludge. The pH value in the rhizosphere increased with distance from the roots when soil was amended with larger amounts of sludge. The exchangeable fraction of Cu in the rhizosphere was depleted whether or not the soil was treated with sludge. Carbonate, oxide, organic and residual fractions of Cu and Zn were depleted in the rhizosphere at a distance of 0-2 mm from the roots when soil was amended with 50% sludge. Application of sewage sludge had a positive effect on alfalfa growth. With an increase in sludge amounts, the concentrations of Fe, Cu and Zn in alfalfa shoots did not change. Soil amendments with less than 25% sludge did not increase the availability or mobility of heavy metals. The depletion in rhizospheric DTPA-extractable Zn, Cd and Ni indicates that with the sole exception of Cu, release of metals from sludge amended soil was very limited.