Contribution of heavy metals and As-loaded lupin root mineralization to the availability of the pollutants in multi-contaminated soils.Environ Pollut. 2008 Mar; 152(2):373-9.EP
White lupin (Lupinus albus L.) is an annual crop that has been used for phytostabilization of acidified multi-contaminated soils. Once the culture cycle is over, after shoot harvesting, a progressive transference of contaminants from roots to soil may take place as decomposition of roots occurs. An incubation experiment with Cu, Zn, Cd, and As-loaded roots of white lupin and soils with different pH values and concentrations of these contaminants from the area affected by a mine spill at Aznalcóllar (near Seville, Spain) was performed in order to assess the effect of the decomposition of the roots to the pH and (NH4)2SO4-extractable levels of these pollutants in the soils. Pollutants loaded-roots were mineralized (56 d) at a ratio similar to animal manures (15.8-19.4% of total organic carbon) in soil. The estimated root inputs of contaminants in comparison to their extractable concentrations in soil were high, especially in the control, non-contaminated and neutral contaminated soils. However, the extractable concentrations of the toxic elements in the soil were mainly governed by soil pH. Hence, the correction and maintenance of the soil pH within the range 5-6 after lupin culture is essential for long-time phytostabilization of acidified multi-contaminated soils.