Response of Thlaspi caerulescens to nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur fertilisation.Int J Phytoremediation. 2006; 8(2):149-61.IJ
The main limiting factor for cleaning-up contaminated soils with hyperaccumulator plants is the low production of aerial biomass and the number of successive crops needed to reach the objective of remediation. The aim of this study was to contribute to the determination of a fertilisation strategy to optimise soil metal phytoextraction by Thlaspi caerulescens. A pot experiment was conducted on an agricultural soil and on a contaminated soil from the vicinity of a former Pb/Zn smelter. The nitrogen (N) treatment consisted of 4 levels (0, 11, 21.5 and 31 mg N kg(-1) dry soil (DS)) added as NH4NO3. The highest N treatment was combined with 4 levels of phosphorus (P) (0, 20, 40 and 80 mg P kg(-1) DS as KH2PO4) and sulfur (S) additions (0, 10, 20 and 30 mg S kg(-1) DS as MgSO4). The highest N fertilisation contributed significantly to enhance biomass production of T. caerulescens and to decrease the concentration of Cd and Zn in the biomass. At constant N addition, P supply did not affect metal extraction by T. caerulescens but negatively affected plant health. Sulfur supply slightly increased phytoextraction of Cd. Our results show that N and S fertilisation might interact but further investigations on the effect of such interaction on Cd extraction efficiency are needed.