Effects of two chelating agents (EDTA and DTPA) on the autochthonous vegetation of a soil polluted with Cu, Zn and Cd.Sci Total Environ. 2007 May 25; 378(1-2):114-8.ST
Chelating agents are thought to be useful for the remediation of metal-polluted soils with adequate organic matter, but the effects of these substances on the plants or seed bank of plant communities that occur in the soils are relatively unknown. In this work, the effects of two chelating substances (EDTA and DTPA) on a wet grassland plant community affected by the presence of the abandoned copper mine "Fernandito" (Garganta de los Montes, Madrid) were compared. A microcosm bioassay (6 months) was designed using the soil's top layer containing the grassland's seed bank. This soil showed a high Cu pollution level, significant contents of Zn and Cd (1120, 190, and 15 ppm, respectively), a pH of 5 and an OM content of 6.2%. The soil was subjected to three different treatments: a) untreated soil (control), b) the addition of 1 g/kg EDTA, or of c) 1 g/kg DTPA. The results presented here are those related to the plant cover, species richness, aboveground and subterranean biomass and chemical composition of the most abundant plants. Neither EDTA nor DTPA caused intense negative effects on the plants rather they significantly increased the amount of copper accumulated in aboveground parts and roots. In particular, Agrostis castellana and Corrigiola telephiifolia extracted high amounts of copper when grown in the soil with added EDTA, although they showed some nutritional imbalances (lower P contents). In contrast, lower metal concentrations were detected in plants grown in the DTPA amended soil.